Idiopathic hip chondrolysis: a case report of a Caucasian HLA-B27 positive adolescent with a history of long walking

  • Khaled T. Kampani
  • Dimitrios V. PapadopoulosEmail author
  • Andreas G. Tsantes
  • Anna Batistatou
  • Aristotelis Fylaktos
  • Christos D. Papageorgiou
Cases with a Message


Idiopathic hip chondrolysis is a rare disorder, the pathophysiology of which has not been fully elucidated. Several theories have been proposed regarding the cause of the disease with some of them involving autoimmune-mediated cartilage destruction. There are several similar features between idiopathic hip chondrolysis and rheumatologic diseases such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, so whether these two disorders are different or not is still debatable. This case report aims to help comprehending this complex disorder by presenting a case of idiopathic hip chondrolysis with apparent risk factors, such as repetitive microtrauma and presence of HLA-B27 antigens. A 15-year-old HLA-B27 positive male presented with idiopathic hip chondrolysis after excessive walking. Initial treatment consisted of medications including corticosteroids, protected weight bearing and surgical soft tissue release. After failure of all these modalities in restoring the decreased range of motion of the hip, a course of a TNF-inhibitor, etanercept was tried. Alleviation of pain achieved early in the treatment period, but range of motion remained mainly unchanged. Although there was a brief improvement of stiffness for a short period after surgery which lasted for about 3 months, stiffness came back afterwards. Administration of a TNF inhibitor in the following period significantly improved his range of motion. The presence of laboratory findings indicating an autoimmune tendency in this patient supports the hypothesis of susceptibility of these patients to autoimmune reactions, while excessive walking was an apparent trigger factor. In future, traditional treatments may be abandoned in favor of novel medications targeting immunologic pathways.


Idiopathic hip chondrolysis Surgical treatment HLA-B27 Etanercept 



This study was not funded.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Informed consent

The patient’s parents have given their informed consent to use the patient’s medical data and photos in the publication of this case study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ΟrthopedicsUniversity Hospital of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity Hospital of IoanninaIoanninaGreece

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