Rate of Surgery and Baseline Characteristics Associated With Surgery Progression in Young Athletes With Prearthritic Hip Disorders

Reid W. Collis, Andrea B. McCullough, Chris Ng, Heidi Prather, Graham A. Colditz, John C. Clohisy, Abby L. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: Prearthritic hip disorders (PAHD), such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), acetabular dysplasia, and acetabular labral tears, are a common cause of pain and dysfunction in adolescent and young adult athletes, and optimal patient-specific treatment has not been defined. Operative management is often recommended, but conservative management may be a reasonable approach for some athletes. Purpose: To identify (1) the relative rate of progression to surgery in self-reported competitive athletes versus nonathletes with PAHD and (2) baseline demographic, pain, and functional differences between athletes who proceeded versus those who did not proceed to surgery within 1 year of evaluation. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: An electronic medical record review was performed of middle school, high school, and college patients who were evaluated for PAHD at a single tertiary-care academic medical center between June 22, 2015, and May 1, 2018. Extracted variables included patients’ self-reported athlete status, decision to choose surgery within 1 year of evaluation, and baseline self-reported pain and functional scores on Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) domains, the Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS), and the modified Harris Hip Score. Results: Of 260 eligible patients (289 hips), 203 patients (78%; 227 hips) were athletes. Athletes were no more likely to choose surgery than nonathletes (130/227 hips [57%] vs 36/62 hips [58%]; relative risk [RR], 0.99 [95% CI, 0.78-1.25]). Among athletes, those who proceeded to surgery over conservative care were more likely to be female (81% vs 69%; RR, 1.34 [95% CI, 0.98-1.83]) and had more known imaging abnormalities (FAI: 82% vs 69%, RR, 1.47 [95% CI, 1.09-1.99]; dysplasia: 48% vs 27%, RR, 1.44 [95% CI, 1.16-1.79]; mixed deformity: 30% vs 10%, RR, 2.91 [95% CI, 1.53-5.54]; known labral tear: 84% vs 40%, RR, 2.79 [95% CI, 2.06-3.76]). Athletes who chose surgery also reported worse baseline hip-specific symptoms on all HOOS subscales (mean difference, 10.8-17.7; P <.01 for all). Conclusion: Similar to nonathletes, just over half of athletes with PAHD chose surgical management within 1 year of evaluation. Many competitive athletes with PAHD continued with conservative management and deferred surgery, but more structural hip pathology and worse hip-related baseline physical impairment were associated with the choice to pursue surgery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2020


  • acetabular dysplasia
  • acetabular labral tear
  • athletes
  • conservative management
  • femoroacetabular impingement
  • hip arthroscopy


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