What is an articular cartilage defect in the hip?
Cartilage injuries in the hip typically involve damage to the acetabulum (hip socket) or the femoral head (ball) of the hip joint. However, the most common injuries typically occur on the side of the acetabulum. There are many different causes, but femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and traumatic injuries are the most common.
What is the treatment for hip cartilage injuries?
If the articular cartilage is intact, typically nothing further is done. At this point, it is important to address the underlying impingement that is causing it in order to allow the stress from the cartilage to be eliminated.
However, cartilage repair is typically attempted if there is a disruption of the cartilage. The labrum in that region will be repaired, and the continuity between the cartilage damage and the labrum restored.
In more severe cases, where there has been delamination and exposed bone, cartilage restoration will be performed. Usually, the first line treatment is microfracture. Microfracture is a marrow-stimulating procedure that creates small holes in the bone to establish new blood vessels and stimulate healing. This is used to treat cartilage defects associated with FAI, traumatic hip injury, or instability.