Purpose: To report early results of conservative treatments (including modifications in activities of daily living) for mild femoroacetabular impingement.
Methods: 27 male and 10 female athletic patients aged 23 to 47 years presented with unilateral hip pain secondary to femoroacetabular impingement and an alpha angle of <60 degrees. Patients were instructed to adapt to their safe range of movement and perform activities of daily living with minimal friction. The Harris Hip Score and non-arthritic hip score before and after treatment were compared. Open or arthroscopic hip surgery to remove the impinging bone was indicated when conservative treatment failed.
Results: Patients were followed up for 25 to 28 months. Of the 37 patients, 4 underwent surgical treatment after conservative management failed. For the remaining 33 patients, the mean Harris Hip Score improved significantly from 72 before treatment to 91 at the 24-month follow-up. The mean non-arthritic hip scores improved from 72 to 91, and the mean visual analogue scores for hip pain from 6 to 2. Six of the 33 patients had recurrent hip pain and discomfort but not severe enough for surgical treatment.
Conclusion: Conservative treatment did not improve the range of hip movement, despite improvement in function and symptoms. Yet it achieved good early results, as long as the patients could modify activities of daily living to adapt to their hip morphology.