The Association of α Angle on Disease Severity in Adolescent Femoroacetabular Impingement

Tyler R. Youngman, K. John Wagner, Benjamin Montanez, Benjamin L. Johnson, Phillip L. Wilson, William Z. Morris, Daniel J. Sucato, David A. Podeszwa, Henry B. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background:Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) is a common cause of hip pain in adolescent patients. Clinical exam and radiographic markers, such as α angle and lateral center edge angle (LCEA), are commonly used to aid in the diagnosis of this condition. The purpose of this study was to correlate preoperative α angle and LCEA with preoperative symptoms, intraoperative findings, and preoperative and postoperative patient reported outcomes (PROs) in the adolescent patient.Methods:A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data was conducted for all patients who underwent operative intervention for FAI at an academic institution over an 11-year period. Preoperative imaging was obtained and measured for LCEA and α angle. PROs (modified Harris Hip Score, Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, and UCLA score) were collected preoperatively, as well as 1, 2, and 5 years postoperatively. Operative intervention was either open surgical hip dislocation or arthroscopic, and intraoperative disease was graded using the Beck Classification system. Patients with minimum 1-year follow-up were included in statistical analysis.Results:There were 86 hips (64 female hips) included with an average age of 16.3 years (range, 10.4 to 20.5 y), with an average of 37 months of follow-up. There was no correlation between severity of preoperative symptoms or difference between pre and postoperative PROs for both α angle and LCEA. Overall, significant improvement was noted in modified Harris Hip Score, Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, and UCLA Score (P<0.001 for each). Independent of preoperative symptoms, increased α angle correlated with more severe intraoperative labral disease (P<0.001), and longer length of labral tear (Corr 0.295, P<0.01). Femoral head and acetabular articular cartilage damage did not correlate with α angle or LCEA, nor did overall severity of disease.Conclusions:In adolescent patients with FAI, increased α angle was found to significantly correlate with labral pathology, including increased length of tear and severity of disease, irrespective of preoperative symptoms or postoperative patient reported outcomes.Level of Evidence:Level III - retrospective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • femoroacetabular impingement
  • labral disease
  • lateral center edge angle
  • patient reported outcomes
  • α angle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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