Hip Videos: Ligamentum Teres
- Ligamentum teres (LT) tears are a pathologic condition being identified at increasing frequency because of growing use of hip arthroscopy. The exact role of the LT is not well understood, but it has been shown in recent biomechanical studies to contribute to hip stability. Patients with hip pain, instability, and/or mechanical symptoms with advanced imaging findings showing LT pathology may benefit from an LT augmentation. We present an arthroscopic-assisted LT augmentation technique, which can be performed as an isolated procedure or in conjunction with an arthroscopic labral repair and/or debridement, chondroplasty, and femoroplasty.
- Ligamentum teres (LT) tears are increasingly being recognized as a source of pain and dysfunction in the hip. Although debridement for partial tears of the LT has long been established as the standard of care with good pain relief, reconstruction has been successfully performed in select patients to address concerns of persistent symptomatic instability. The current technique for femoral tunnel preparation carries the added morbidity of open dissection in the peritrochanteric space, an unnecessarily long tunnel with excessive bone removal, and a need for a very long graft due to distal fixation at the lateral femoral cortex.
- The function of the ligamentum teres remains poorly understood, but tears have been recognized as a source of hip pain. In some patients with complete ligamentum teres tears, symptoms of instability are described. Microinstability and excess motion are hypothesized to be a source of pain and mechanical symptoms. Efforts in recent years to improve symptoms have led to the development of techniques used to reconstruct the ligamentum teres, with some early evidence that reconstruction can improve symptoms in appropriately selected patients.
- The ligamentum teres (LT) has been studied since the 19th century, and its anatomy and biomechanical function have been well described. Recent advancements in hip arthroscopy have caused increased awareness of LT pathology. Previous reports have estimated the incidence of LT tears during hip arthroscopy to be 4% to 51%, and LT tears have been estimated to be the third most common reason for hip pain in athletes. Biomechanical studies have shown the LT's role in stability of the hip. Despite the growing body of literature on LT anatomy and function, its role as a causative factor in hip pain and hip instability has yet to be clearly defined, and the treatment of LT tears remains controversial.
- Although the exact biomechanical function of the ligamentum teres (LT) remains unclear, an important role in hip stability has been suggested. In some patients, perhaps because of their specific anatomy or physical activity, it seems to have a major function as a hip stabilizer. Therefore, after a complete LT tear, this group of patients may have persistent hip pain and mechanical symptoms probably related to microinstability and subtle subluxation. We present the case of a female patient with a complete LT tear.