Viability and Tissue Quality of Cartilage Flaps from Patients with Femoroacetabular Hip Impingement: A Matched-Control Comparison
CAM type Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where a boney overgrowth on the femur pinches the socket it rests in resulting pain, injury to the surrounding labrum and sometimes a loose cartilage flap. During surgery, the damaged flap of cartilage is usually repaired and put back into place, however, while this flap looks intact to the naked eye, the condition of the cartilage flap at the cellular level was unknown. This study examined the quality of the cartilage extracted from patients while they were undergoing FAI surgery. A small piece of cartilage from the damage area of the hip as well as undamaged cartilage from an area of the hip that does not bear any weight were extracted and compared to one another under the microscope to compare tissue quality. This study found that the number of functioning cells in the chondral flaps were reduced by an average of about 54% and had a higher level of degeneration when compared to the cartilage from the non-damaged area. However, this study also found that even the cartilage extracted in the non-damaged area also displayed a greater degree of cellular cartilage degeneration. Thus, this study revealed that careful consideration needs to be taken when reattaching these cartilage flaps.