Do Femoral Head Osteochondral Lesions Predict a Poor Outcome in Hip Arthroscopy Patients? A Matched Control Study With Minimum 5-Year Follow-Up


Purpose: To determine whether the presence of femoral head (FH) lesions affects patient-reported outcomes (PROs) of patients undergoing hip arthroscopy for labral tears.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed for all patients who underwent hip arthroscopy for labral tears at our institution from April 2008 to March 2011. Patients with FH lesions were matched to those without (control) for age, body mass index, sex, and lateral center-edge angle. The inclusion criteria were FH lesions, labral tears, and minimum 5-year follow-up. The exclusion criteria were previous hip surgery, prior hip conditions, inflammatory arthritis, Workers' Compensation claims, and Tönnis grade greater than 1. PRO scores, including the modified Harris Hip Score, Non-Arthritic Hip Score, and Hip Outcome Score-Sports Specific Subscale, were collected preoperatively and postoperatively. Visual analog scale (VAS) scores for pain and patient satisfaction were recorded.

Results: We matched 96 hips with FH lesions to 96 control hips. The FH group had slightly longer follow-up (71.4 months vs 67 months, P = .004). Patients with FH lesions tended to have higher-grade acetabular lesions (grade 4 acetabular labrum articular disruption and Outerbridge grade 4 acetabular lesions). All PRO scores, VAS scores, and patient satisfaction ratings were statistically improved at latest follow-up in both groups. No statistical difference in improvement (ΔPRO and ΔVAS scores) was noted between groups. However, patients with FH lesions had a higher rate of conversion to arthroplasty (32% vs 16%, P = .0027). Patients in the control group underwent more secondary arthroscopies (14% vs 5%, P = .05).

Conclusions: Finding an FH chondral lesion at arthroscopy does not necessarily portend a worse clinical outcome or conversion to total hip arthroplasty, when controlling for other variables. Patients with FH lesions were, however, found to have worse intra-articular hip pathology. When combined with these factors, patients with FH lesions had lower outcome scores and double the rate of conversion to arthroplasty than patients without them.

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