Patient-Reported Outcome Scores and Rate of Return to Sport After Hip Arthroscopic Surgery: A Sex-Based Comparison in Professional and Collegiate Athletes


Background: No studies have compared outcomes and return to sport (RTS) after hip arthroscopic surgery between matched groups of male and female athletes with a minimum 2-year follow-up.

Purpose: (1) To report minimum 2-year postoperative patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores and the RTS rate for elite female athletes undergoing hip arthroscopic surgery for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and (2) to compare clinical results with a matched control group of elite male athletes.

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

Methods: Data on all consecutive female athletes who underwent primary hip arthroscopic surgery performed at our institution between March 2009 and July 2018 were collected. Patients were eligible if they underwent hip arthroscopic surgery for labral tears or FAI and participated in collegiate or professional athletics within 1 year of surgery. Minimum 2-year postoperative PRO scores were collected for the modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), Nonarthritic Hip Score (NAHS), Hip Outcome Score-Sport-Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS), and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain as well as RTS status. The percentages of patients achieving the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) and patient acceptable symptomatic state were recorded. These patients were matched to elite male athletes for comparison.

Results: A total of 73 female hips were included, with a mean follow-up of 65.1 ± 27.9 months. They demonstrated a significant improvement from preoperatively to latest follow-up on the mHHS, NAHS, HOS-SSS, and VAS (P < .05). When outcomes were compared with a control group of male athletes, female athletes demonstrated lower preoperative scores, similar postoperative scores, and a significantly greater magnitude of improvement (delta value) on the mHHS, NAHS, and VAS. Female athletes also achieved the MCID at higher rates than did male athletes for the HOS-SSS (85.1% vs 70.0%, respectively; P = .035) and NAHS (79.1% vs 62.9%, respectively; P = .037). RTS rates among patients who attempted were similar between the 2 groups (female: 75.4%; male: 83.1%; P = .409).

Conclusion: Elite female athletes undergoing primary hip arthroscopic surgery for FAI demonstrated a significant improvement in PRO scores and a high RTS rate. Female athletes exhibited a greater improvement in PRO scores (mHHS, NAHS, VAS) and achieved the MCID (HOS-SSS, NAHS) at higher rates compared with a control group of male athletes.

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