Background: Hip arthroscopy represents a new and minimally invasive method of treating patients with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). However, participation in popular sports after this procedure has not yet been analyzed.
Hypotheses: Arthroscopic treatment of FAI increases the level of popular sports activities, and this level of activity correlates with the clinical outcome in terms of pain and function.
Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.
Methods: Fifty-three patients (41 male, 12 female) were evaluated preoperatively and after a mean follow-up of 2.4 years (range, 2-3.2 years) after arthroscopic osteoplasty for cam and mixed FAI. Evaluation included the type and level of sports activities (sports frequency score [SFS]) as well as clinical outcome in terms of pain (VAS) and function (nonarthritic hip score [NAHS]).
Results: Forty-five of the 53 patients had regularly participated in popular sports until the first occurrence of FAI symptoms. Preoperatively, only 4 of these 45 patients had maintained their accustomed level of activity. At the final follow-up, 31 patients had returned to their full accustomed level of activity. None of the patients who had not been active in sports before the first occurrence of symptoms of FAI (n = 8) had begun participation in sports after arthroscopic osteoplasty. The SFS significantly increased from 0.78 to 1.84 (P < .001), and the mean VAS pain score significantly improved from 5.7 (range, 1-9) to 1.5 (range, 0-6) points (P < .001). The NAHS improved from 54.4 (range, 28.75-92.5) to 85.7 (range, 47.5-100) (P < .001). There was no significant correlation between SFS and NAHS (r = .051, P = .35), as well as between SFS and VAS pain score (r = .159, P = .140) preoperatively, but a significant correlation was seen at the time of the last postoperative follow-up (SFS/NAHS: r = .392, P = .003; SFS/VAS: r = .242, P = .049). The 3 most frequent sports activities postoperatively were biking, hiking, and fitness.
Conclusion: Arthroscopic osteoplasty can significantly improve the rate and level of popular sports activities in patients with FAI. The level of postoperative sports activity directly correlates with the clinical outcome in terms of pain and function.