Hip Arthroscopy: The Use of Computer Assistance

Danyal H. Nawabi MD, FRCS

Assistant Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Instructor of Orthopedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College

Denis Nam, MD

Hospital for Special Surgery

Caroline Park, BA

Hospital for Special Surgery

Anil S. Ranawat, MD
Anil S. Ranawat, MD
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College
Associate Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Associate Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Sports Medicine Fellowship Director, Hospital for Special Surgery
Medical Director, PA (physician assistant) Department, Hospital for Special Surgery



Hip arthroscopy is rapidly becoming the mainstay of treatment for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), but remains technically demanding and has its limitations. The failures of arthroscopic FAI surgery due to inaccurate and inadequate resection are reported to be increasing. Computer-assisted surgery (CAS) can theoretically improve the accuracy and precision of the osseous resections required to treat FAI. It does so by providing a preoperative assessment tool, an intraoperative tracking device, and a robotic-assisted cutting instrument.


The purpose of this review is to discuss the evolution of CAS to address the current limitations of arthroscopic FAI surgery and propose the features required of the ideal CAS solution for FAI.


A computerized keyword search of MEDLINE was performed for studies that investigated the use of computer assistance in FAI surgery. Data was collected on preoperative assessment tools, intraoperative navigation programs, and robotic-assisted execution of FAI surgery.


Sixty-one articles were identified after the keyword search. Nineteen studies met our inclusion criteria. Thirteen studies were selected to address our study questions: three studies were analyzed for preoperative planning, six for navigated osseous resection, and four for robotic-assisted execution.


Navigation and robotic-assisted surgery can preoperatively plan and execute osseous resection with greater accuracy compared to freehand techniques, although the clinical success and cost-effectiveness has yet to be demonstrated. The ideal CAS solution must be able to virtually plan a resection, guide the surgeon towards accurate execution of the plan, and facilitate post-resection assessment of the adequacy of resection.

This article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 9, Number 1.
View the full article at springerlink.com.

About the HSS Journal

HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal published three times a year, February, July and October. The Journal accepts and publishes peer reviewed articles from around the world that contribute to the advancement of the knowledge of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.


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