Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate on hip pathology found at hip arthroscopy in Australian Football League (AFL) players and describe our current treatments and outcomes.
Methods: From 2003 to 2008, 24 consecutive AFL players (27 hips) had arthroscopic hip surgery by use of the lateral position. Patients were assessed preoperatively and postoperatively with the modified Harris Hip Score (MHHS) and Nonarthritic Hip Score (NAHS) and postoperatively with a satisfaction survey.
Results: All hips were available for review. The mean duration of follow up was 22 months (range, 6 to 60 months). The mean age was 22 years (range, 16 to 29 years). The mean body mass index was 24 points (range, 21 to 26 points). The mean traction time was 21 minutes (range, 11 to 60 minutes). The most common pathology was a rim lesion, affecting 93% of cases. Microfracture was performed in 22%. Synovitis was found in 70%, and this was most commonly associated with a rim lesion. Labral pathology was present in 33%, the most common of which was labral separation. On the femoral side, 81% had cam impingement and underwent a femoral neck ostectomy. Rim lesions and labral pathology were the most commonly associated lesions. Also seen were loose os acetabuli in 7% and loose bodies in 7%. The former were associated with labral tears and required repair. The MHHS and NAHS improved in all patients postoperatively, and they maintained their improvement from 1 year up to 4 years. In all but 1 case, the players returned to playing at the AFL level and were satisfied with their outcome.
Conclusions: Using hip arthroscopy, we have observed high satisfaction levels and return to preinjury levels of play in all but 1 case. Postoperative hip scores (MHHS and NAHS) have improved significantly, and this improvement has been maintained for up to 4 years.
Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.
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