Surgical hip dislocation for the treatment of femoroacetabular impingement in high-level athletes

Florian D Naal, Hermes H Miozzari, Tobias F Wyss, Hubert P Nötzli
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2011, 39 (3): 544-50

BACKGROUND: Midterm outcome studies show that symptomatic femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) can be successfully treated by addressing the underlying pathomorphology with open or arthroscopic surgery. Although athletes may be vulnerable to hip injury from impingement, limited information is available regarding the results of open surgery in this group.

HYPOTHESIS: High-level athletes with FAI can resume their sports after surgical hip dislocation and continue professional careers for a significant period.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: Twenty-two professional male athletes (19.7 ± 2.2 years) were evaluated by postal survey at a mean of 45.1 months (range, 12 to 79) after treatment by surgical hip dislocation (30 hips, cam- or mixed-type FAI; mean α angle, 69.3°; 14 ice hockey players). Evaluation included types and level of sports, subjective ratings, and CLINICAL OUTCOMES: Hip Outcome Score, SF-12, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) activity scale, Hip Sports Activity Scale, visual analog scale for pain. The primary outcome variable was return to professional sports; the clinical result was the secondary outcome variable.

RESULTS: At follow-up, 21 of 22 patients (96%) were still competing professionally: 19 at their previous level and 2 in minor leagues. Eighteen (82%) were satisfied with their hip surgery and 19 (86%) with their sports ability. Mean activity levels were 9.8 per the UCLA scale and 7.6 per the Hip Sports Activity Scale. Mean scores of the Hip Outcome Score-Activities of Daily Living and Sport subscales were 94.5 and 89.1. Mean scores of the SF-12 physical and mental component summaries were 51.1 and 54.3. Pain levels during sports were 1.8 per the visual analog scale.

CONCLUSION: Surgical hip dislocation for the treatment of FAI allows athletes to resume sports and continue professional careers at the same level for several years. Clinical outcomes in terms of subjective ratings and scores were favorable.


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