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Arthroscopic surgery is effective in treating hip impingement

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Hip arthroscopy is an effective treatment for painful hip impingement, a US study has confirmed.

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR) surgeons found that both male and female patients did well after having arthroscopic surgery for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), a condition in which the ball and socket of the hips are misshapen. However, outcomes varied slightly depending on the age and sex of the patient.

The researchers reviewed 150 patients who were treated for FAI by a single fellowship-trained surgeon. They assessed each patient´s Hip Outcome Score Activities of Daily Living Subscale (HOS-ADL), Hip Outcome Score Sport-Specific Subscale (HOS-Sport), modified Harris hip score (mHHS), and clinical improvement at follow-up.

All patients had significant improvements in all outcomes following hip arthroscopy, but patients over 45 performed worse than younger patients, with female patients over 45 demonstrating the lowest outcome scores.

Interestingly, among those under 45, female patients performed as well as male patients in terms of hip clinical outcome scores.

The study, co-authored by Drs. Shane Nho and Charles Bush-Joseph, has been published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

“The research showed arthroscopy to be extremely effective in treating FAI in both male and female patients of all ages,” said Dr. Nho, a hip arthroscopy specialist. “Findings also showed some of these patients older than 45 may have very early arthritis barely detectable on X-ray.

“Since patients over 45, especially females, didn´t fare quite as well, we may need to consider additional treatment modalities for that age group. It is apparent that an individualised approach to treatment is best to optimise outcomes for all FAI patients.”

People with FAI are either born with the condition or their hip joint may develop abnormally over time, MOR explained. It can sometimes be caused by repetitive activity involving the legs and hips, and is seen in football, tennis, hockey, lacrosse, baseball and American football players, as well as dancers and golfers.

When diagnosed properly, FAI can be corrected through arthroscopic surgery.