Iliopsoas bursa-hip capsule connection leading to intra-abdominal fluid extravasation

Daniel R. Whiting, Joaquin Moya-Angeler, Rafael J. Sierra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Intra-abdominal fluid extravasation is a rare complication of hip arthroscopy, with a reported incidence of 0.16%. Associated risk factors include recent acetabular fracture, extra-articular procedures, iliopsoas tenotomy, and high fluid pump pressure. These previously reported risk factors were not present in the 48-year-old woman reported in this article. The patient elected to undergo hip arthroscopy for mechanical hip pain that persisted for 18 months. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging scan showed a "normal variant communication [between] the iliopsoas bursa" and the hip capsule. Postoperative examination showed a tense, distended abdomen. After extubation, the patient had severe abdominal and pleuritic chest pain. Postoperative imaging showed significant retro- and intraperitoneal fluid extravasation. Ultrasound-guided paracentesis was used to drain the intraperitoneal fluid collection, with a significant decrease in pain. The patient returned home less than 24 hours later, with no further complications. The authors believe that the preexisting connection between the hip capsule and the iliopsoas bursa allowed the arthroscopy fluid to easily track proximally within the tendon sheath, despite relatively low fluid pump pressure. Surgeons should be aware of this possible "normal variant communication," which may be considered a relative contraindication to hip arthroscopy, especially in patients with arthritic changes on preoperative imaging. This must be addressed with the patient preoperatively, with proper counseling and patient selection. If arthroscopy is pursued, the surgical and anesthesia teams must be vigilant for signs of intra-abdominal fluid extravasation and must be prepared to treat this potentially serious complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1055-e1058
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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