5 years ago

Pudendal nerve injury is a relatively common but transient complication of hip arthroscopy

Darren de SA, Etienne L. Belzile, Olufemi R. Ayeni, Anthony Habib, Nicole Simunovic, Seper Ekhtiari, Chloe E. Haldane



Hip arthroscopy is emerging as the standard of care for conditions involving the hip, and has a unique set of complications. The purpose of this review was to identify (1) the crude rate of pudendal nerve injury following hip arthroscopy and (2) the specific factors leading to pudendal nerve injury.


MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed were searched from database inception to October 2016. Patient demographics, indications, surgical technique, complication rates, treatment approaches, and rehabilitation strategies were extracted.


Twenty-four studies (n = 3405) were included, with the majority (66%) of studies being level IV evidence. The mean age was 33.9 ± 9.7 years (range 12–78) and 48.2% were males. Average follow-up was 30.2 ± 19.1 months. 62 patients were reported to have sustained pudendal nerve injury (1.8%) post-operatively, and all resolved within 6 weeks to 3 months. Of the seven studies that reported using a perineal post, 20 patients were diagnosed with pudendal nerve injury (4.3%), in contrast to two studies (189 patients) reporting only 0.5% pudendal nerve injury without the use of perineal post. Two studies commented on time of traction during surgical intervention with mean times of 98 and 68 min with complication rates of 10% and 6.6%, respectively.


Pudendal nerve injury is not uncommon following hip arthroscopy, with a reported rate found in this review of 1.8%. Potential risk factors may include the use of a perineal post and long traction times. All reported cases resolved within 3 months. Patients should be informed of complications related to pudendal nerve injury, which include sexual and urinary dysfunction.

Level of evidence

Level IV, systematic review of level I–IV studies.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00167-017-4783-4

DOI: 10.1007/s00167-017-4783-4

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