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Orthop J Sports Med


BACKGROUND: Routine hip magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before arthroscopy for patients with femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) offers questionable clinical benefit, delays surgery, and wastes resources.

PURPOSE: To assess the clinical utility of preoperative hip MRI for patients aged ≤40 years who were undergoing primary hip arthroscopy and who had a history, physical examination findings, and radiographs concordant with FAIS.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

METHODS: Included were 1391 patients (mean age, 25.8 years; 63% female; mean body mass index, 25.6) who underwent hip arthroscopy between August 2015 and December 2021 by 1 of 4 fellowship-trained hip surgeons from 4 referral centers. Inclusion criteria were FAIS, primary surgery, and age ≤40 years. Exclusion criteria were MRI contraindication, reattempt of nonoperative management, and concomitant periacetabular osteotomy. Patients were stratified into those who were evaluated with preoperative MRI versus those without MRI. Those without MRI received an MRI before surgery without deviation from the established surgical plan. All preoperative MRI scans were compared with the office evaluation and intraoperative findings to assess agreement. Time from office to arthroscopy and/or MRI was recorded. MRI costs were calculated.

RESULTS: Of the study patients, 322 were not evaluated with MRI and 1069 were. MRI did not alter surgical or interoperative plans. Both groups had MRI findings demonstrating anterosuperior labral tears treated intraoperatively (99.8% repair, 0.2% debridement, and 0% reconstruction). Compared with patients who were evaluated with MRI and waited 63.0 ± 34.6 days, patients who were not evaluated with MRI underwent surgery 6.5 ± 18.7 days after preoperative MRI. MRI delayed surgery by 24.0 ± 5.3 days and cost a mean $2262 per patient.

CONCLUSION: Preoperative MRI did not alter indications for primary hip arthroscopy in patients aged ≤40 years with a history, physical examination findings, and radiographs concordant with FAIS. Rather, MRI delayed surgery and wasted resources. Routine hip MRI acquisition for the younger population with primary FAIS with a typical presentation should be challenged.

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