Sex Differences in Clinical Outcomes Following Surgical Treatment of Femoroacetabular Impingement

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2021 Mar 3;103(5):415-423. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.20.00394.


Background: Sex-based differences in clinical outcomes following surgical treatment of femoroacetabular impingement remain largely uncharacterized; this prospective, multicenter study evaluated these differences both directly and adjusted for covariates.

Methods: Hips undergoing surgical treatment of symptomatic femoroacetabular impingement were prospectively enrolled in a multicenter cohort. Patient demographics, radiographic parameters, intraoperatively assessed disease severity, and history of surgical procedures, as well as patient-reported outcome measures, were collected preoperatively and at a mean follow-up of 4.3 years. A total of 621 (81.6%) of 761 enrolled hips met the minimum 1 year of follow-up and were included in the analysis; 56.7% of analyzed hips were female. Univariate and multivariable statistics were utilized to assess the direct and adjusted differences in outcomes, respectively.

Results: Male hips had greater body mass index and larger α angles. Female hips had significantly lower preoperative and postoperative scores across most patient-reported outcome measures, but also had greater improvement from preoperatively to postoperatively. The preoperative differences between sexes exceeded the threshold for the minimal clinically important difference of the modified Harris hip score (mHHS) and all Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS) domains except quality of life. Preoperative sex differences in mHHS, all HOOS domains, and Short Form-12 Health Survey physical function component score were greater than the postoperative differences. A greater proportion of female hips achieved the minimal clinically important difference for the mHHS, but male hips were more likely to meet the patient acceptable symptom state for this outcome. After adjusting for relevant covariates with use of multiple regression analysis, sex was not identified as an independent predictor of any outcome. Preoperative patient-reported outcome scores were a strong and highly significant predictor of all outcomes.

Conclusions: Significant differences in clinical outcomes were observed between sexes in a large cohort of hips undergoing surgical treatment of femoroacetabular impingement. Despite female hips exhibiting lower baseline scores, sex was not an independent predictor of outcome or reoperation.

Level of evidence: Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / psychology
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Treatment Outcome