Comparing Midterm Outcomes of High-Level Athletes Versus Nonathletes Undergoing Primary Hip Arthroscopy: A Propensity-Matched Comparison With Minimum 5-Year Follow-up


Background: High-level athletes (HLAs) have been shown to have better short-term outcomes than nonathletes (NAs) after hip arthroscopy.

Purpose: (1) To report midterm outcomes of HLAs after primary hip arthroscopy and (2) to compare their results with a propensity-matched cohort of NA patients.

Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed between February 2008 and November 2015 for HLAs (professional, college, or high school) who underwent primary hip arthroscopy in the setting of femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS). HLAs were included if they had preoperative, minimum 2-year, and minimum 5-year follow-up data for the modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), Non-Arthritic Hip Score (NAHS), and Hip Outcome Score Sports-Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS). Radiographic and intraoperative findings, surgical procedures, patient-reported outcomes (PROs), patient acceptable symptomatic state (PASS), minimal clinically important difference (MCID), and return to sport were reported. The HLA study group was propensity-matched to a control group of NA patients for comparison.

Results: A total 65 HLA patients (67 hips) were included in the final analysis with mean follow-up time of 74.6 ± 16.7 months. HLAs showed significant improvement in all PROs recorded, achieved high rates of MCID and PASS for mHHS (74.6% and 79.4%, respectively) and HOS-SSS (67.7% and 66.1%, respectively), and returned to sport at high rates (80.4%). When compared with the propensity-matched NA control group, HLAs reported higher baseline but comparable postoperative scores for the mHHS and NAHS. HLA patients achieved MCID and PASS for mHHS at similar rates as NA patients, but the HLA patients achieved PASS for HOS-SSS at higher rates that trended toward statistical significance (66.1% vs 48.4%; P = .07). NA patients underwent revision arthroscopic surgery at similar rates as HLA patients (14.9% vs 9.0%, respectively; P = .424).

Conclusion: Primary hip arthroscopy results in favorable midterm outcomes in HLAs. When compared with a propensity-matched NA control group, HLAs demonstrated a tendency toward higher rates of achieving PASS for HOS-SSS but similar arthroscopic revision rates at minimum 5-year follow-up.

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