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Prevalence and Impact of Pain at the Greater Trochanter After Open Surgery for the Treatment of Femoro-Acetabular Impingement
Martin Beck, MD1; Lorenz Büchler, MD2
1 Clinic for Orthopaedic Surgery, Luzerner Kantonsspital, CH-6004 Luzern, Switzerland. E-mail address: martin.beck@ksl.ch
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Bern, Inselspital, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland
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Disclosure: The authors did not receive any outside funding or grants in support of their research for or preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity.

Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Copyright © 2011 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2011 May 04;93(Supplement 2):66-69. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.01718
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Femoro-acetabular impingement can cause pain and degenerative changes of the hip joint. Traditionally, surgical dislocation of the hip joint has been performed for correction of pathologic abnormalities in the proximal part of the femur and the acetabulum. Failures of surgical treatment are often related to postoperative pain in the groin or in the area of the greater trochanter, associated with this surgical approach. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence and functional impact of pain at the greater trochanter after surgical dislocation of the hip.


Fifty consecutive patients in whom femoro-acetabular impingement had been treated with surgical dislocation of the hip at our institution were seen for clinical and radiographic follow-up at one year. The Merle d'Aubigné score was calculated preoperatively and at the time of follow-up. Pain in the groin or at the greater trochanter during activity and at rest was recorded.


The mean Merle d'Aubigné score significantly improved from 14.4 points preoperatively to 17 points postoperatively. Preoperatively, eight patients (16%) had pain over the greater trochanter. At one year after surgery, twenty-three (46%) had such pain; these patients were primarily female (seventeen of the twenty-three). The mean Merle d'Aubigné score was 17.4 points for the patients without groin pain and 16.1 points for those with groin pain. The presence or absence of pain at the greater trochanter had no significant influence on the outcome, but groin pain was associated with inferior results.


Tenderness or pain over the greater trochanter is frequent after osteotomy of the greater trochanter and has a distinct female predominance. However, it has no significant negative influence on outcome. This is in contrast to groin pain, which is associated with inferior results.

Level of Evidence: 

Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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