Return to Sports and Minimum 2-Year Outcomes of Hip Arthroscopy in Elite Athletes With and Without Coexisting Low Back Pain: A Propensity-Matched Comparison
Background: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and return to sports (RTS) after hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) have not been established in elite athletes with coexisting low back pain (LBP).
Purpose: (1) To report minimum 2-year PROs and RTS rates after primary hip arthroscopy for FAIS in elite athletes with coexisting LBP and (2) to compare clinical results with a propensity-matched control group of elite athletes without back pain.
Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.
Methods: Data were reviewed for elite athletes (college and professional) who underwent hip arthroscopy for FAIS and had coexisting LBP between October 2009 and October 2018. Inclusion criteria were preoperative and minimum 2-year follow-up for the modified Harris Hip Score, Nonarthritic Hip Score, Hip Outcome Score-Sports Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS), and visual analog scale for pain. Exclusion criteria were Tönnis grade >1, hip dysplasia (lateral center-edge angle <18°), and previous ipsilateral hip or spine surgery or conditions. Rates of achieving the minimal clinically importance difference (MCID), patient acceptable symptomatic state (PASS), and maximum outcome improvement satisfaction threshold were recorded in addition to RTS. For the subanalysis, the elite athlete study group was propensity matched to an elite athlete control group without back pain.
Results: A total of 48 elite athletes with LBP who underwent primary hip arthroscopy met inclusion criteria, and follow-up was available for 42 (87.5%) at 53.2 ± 31.6 months (mean ± SD). Elite athletes with coexisting LBP demonstrated significant improvements in all recorded PROs and achieved the MCID and PASS for the HOS-SSS at rates of 82.5% and 67.5%, respectively. They also returned to sports at a high rate (75.8%), and 79% of them did not report LBP postoperatively. PROs, rates of achieving the MCID and PASS for the HOS-SSS, and RTS rates were similar between the study group and propensity-matched control group.
Conclusion: Elite athletes with coexisting LBP who undergo primary hip arthroscopy for FAIS may expect favorable PROs, rates of achieving the MCID and PASS for the HOS-SSS, and RTS rates at minimum 2-year follow-up. These results were comparable to those of a propensity-matched control group of elite athletes without back pain. In athletes with hip-spine syndrome, successful treatment of their hip pathology may help resolve their back pain.