Return to Sports and Minimum 2-Year Outcomes of Primary Arthroscopic Hip Labral Reconstruction for Irreparable Tears in High-Level Athletes With a Propensity-Matched Benchmarking Against a Labral Repair Control Group


Background: Labral reconstruction has shown promise for the treatment of irreparable labral tears in high-level athletes. The literature is scarce regarding outcomes and timing of return to sports (RTS) in these patients.

Purpose: (1) To report minimum 2-year patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores and RTS characteristics for high-level athletes undergoing primary labral reconstruction for irreparable labral tears and (2) to compare clinical results with a matched control group of athletes undergoing labral repair.

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

Methods: Data were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed for high school, college, and professional athletes who underwent a primary arthroscopic labral reconstruction between January 2010 and June 2018. Minimum 2-year PROs were compared for the modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), Nonarthritic Hip Score (NAHS), and Hip Outcome Score-Sport Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS), as well as the visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, patient satisfaction, and RTS. The percentages of patients achieving the Patient Acceptable Symptom State (PASS) and minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for the mHHS (PASS, >74 points; MCID, >8 points) and HOS-SSS (PASS, >75 points; MCID, >6 points) were also recorded. These patients were propensity score matched in a 1:3 ratio to other high-level athletes undergoing labral repair.

Results: A total of 17 high-level athletes with primary arthroscopic labral reconstruction were included with a median follow-up time of 37.1 months (95% CI, 37.2-60.3 months). They demonstrated significant improvement from preoperatively to the latest follow-up for mHHS, NAHS, HOS-SSS, and VAS for pain (P < .05). Further, patients achieved PASS/MCID for mHHS at high rates (PASS, 84.2%; MCID, 68.4%). Athletes were able to return to sport-specific training at a median of 3.33 months (95% CI, 3.07-4.71 months) and RTS at a median of 6.2 months (95% CI, 5.08-11.98 months). Fourteen (82.4%) of reconstructions and 29 (82.8%) of repairs either returned to sport or decided not to do so for reasons unrelated to the hip. PROs, RTS rate, and PASS/MCID rates were similar between the labral reconstruction group and a control labral repair group (P > .05).

Conclusion: Primary arthroscopic labral reconstruction for irreparable labral tears was associated with significant improvement in PROs and high rates of RTS in high-level athletes. These results were comparable with those of a control group of athletes undergoing labral repair.

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