Midterm Outcomes and Return to Sports Among Athletes Undergoing Hip Arthroscopy

Am J Sports Med. 2018 Jun;46(7):1661-1667. doi: 10.1177/0363546518765969. Epub 2018 May 4.


Background: Hip arthroscopy is an established surgical treatment for pathologic hip conditions in athletes. There is a paucity in the literature regarding outcomes and return to sport for athletes in the midterm.

Purpose: To report minimum 5-year outcomes, return to sport, and level of sport among athletic patients who underwent hip arthroscopy. In addition, we compared 2- and 5-year outcomes to evaluate whether there is a deterioration in functional status.

Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected on all patients who underwent hip arthroscopy between February 2009 and November 2011 at 1 institution. Athletes at the high school, collegiate, or professional level who underwent hip arthroscopy and had preoperative patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores were considered for inclusion. Exclusion criteria were preoperative Tönnis grade >1 or prior ipsilateral hip conditions or surgery. Data on sports participation, competition level, and ability were collected. At a minimum of 5 years postoperatively, PROs, visual analog scale (VAS), iHOT-12 (short version of International Hip Outcome Tool), satisfaction, and postoperative complication data were collected.

Results: Seventy-seven hips met all criteria, among which 66 (85.7%) had a minimum 5-year follow-up and were included. There were 37 high school, 20 collegiate, and 9 professional athletes. Mean ± SD improvements at a minimum of 5 years were as follows: modified Harris Hip Score, 66.8 ± 16.3 to 87.0 ± 14.8 ( P < .001); nonarthritic hip score, 66.2 ± 19.9 to 87.2 ± 15.2 ( P < .001); Hip Outcome Score-Sports Specific Subscale, 47.0 ± 22.4 to 79.1 ± 23.0 ( P < .001); and VAS, 5.4 ± 2.5 to 1.8 ± 2.1 ( P < .001). At latest follow-up, mean iHOT-12 was 78.8 ± 22.7, and satisfaction was 8.2. A total of 50 athletes (53 hips, 80.3%) reported that they returned to sports; 71.2% reported "same" or "higher" sport ability as compared with a year before surgery. Postoperative complications included 3 cases (4.5%) of numbness and 1 case (1.5%) of pulmonary embolism. Ten hips (15.2%) required secondary arthroscopies, and no hips were converted to total hip arthroplasty. There were no significant differences between 2- and 5-year PROs, VAS, or satisfaction.

Conclusion: Midterm results of hip arthroscopy in athletes are shown to be safe and favorable. Most athletes return to sports and continue to play after 5 years with the same or higher ability.

Keywords: athletes; clinical outcomes; hip arthroscopy; midterm; return to sports.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Athletes
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Prospective Studies
  • Return to Sport*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Analog Scale
  • Young Adult