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Acetabular Rim Trim

Acetabular Rim Trim

What is Acetabular Rim Trimming?

The acetabulum is a bowl-shaped socket on either side of your hip bone (pelvis), into which the ball-shaped head of your femur (thighbone) fits and glides smoothly. The acetabular rim is the border or edge of the acetabulum which surrounds the femoral head. Sometimes, the smooth motion of the femoral head can be affected by an abnormally shaped socket. This condition is called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and can be caused by bony outgrowths (bone spurs) from the rim. Acetabular rim trimming is a procedure done to correct the uneven rim in order to avoid impingement.

Indications for Acetabular Rim Trimming

The bony outgrowths from the rim can damage the labrum (cartilage over the acetabular rim) causing your bones to rub against each other. Ultimately, you will start to feel pain during hip movement and it may even result in significant disability. Therefore, acetabular rimming is recommended to avoid impingement, cartilage loss, pain and disability.

Procedure for Acetabular Rim Trimming

Your doctor has two options to perform acetabular rim trimming, open surgery or arthroscopy (minimally invasive procedure).

In the open procedure, your doctor makes a single large incision or 2-3 smaller cuts to obtain direct access to the joint. For arthroscopy, a thin tube attached to a lighted camera (an endoscope) is inserted into your joint through a small incision to enable a clear view of the affected area for the surgeon to operate. Once accessed by either means, your surgeon performs the following:

  • Trims your acetabular rim using a motorized burr
  • Repairs damage caused to the cartilage if present
  • Closes the incisions with sutures

This procedure will restore the normal anatomy of your acetabular rim.

Care after Acetabular Rim Trimming

Following surgery, your surgeon will prescribe

  • Medication for post-surgery pain to keep you comfortable
  • Anti-coagulation therapy to prevent blood clots

Physical therapy is recommended to improve hip motion and strengthen the muscles around the hip.