What is the Rate of Response to Nonoperative Treatment for Hip-Related Pain? A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis

Daniel T. Probst, Michael F. Sookochoff, Marcie Harris-Hayes, Heidi Prather, Kim L. Lipsey, Abby L. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: We aimed to (1) determine the rate of satisfactory response to nonoperative treatment for nonarthritic hip-related pain, and (2) evaluate the specific effect of various elements of physical therapy and nonoperative treatment options aside from physical therapy. DESIGN: Systematic review with meta-analysis. LITERATURE SEARCH: We searched 7 databases and reference lists of eligible studies from their inception to February 2022. STUDY SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies that compared a nonoperative management protocol to any other treatment for patients with femoroacetabular impingement syndrome, acetabular dysplasia, acetabular labral tear, and/or nonarthritic hip pain not otherwise specified. DATA SYNTHESIS: We used random-effects meta-analyses, as appropriate. Study quality was assessed using an adapted Downs and Black checklist. Certainty of evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations (GRADE) approach. RESULTS: Twenty-six studies (1153 patients) were eligible for qualitative synthesis, and 16 were included in the meta-analysis. Moderate certainty evidence suggests that the overall response rate to nonoperative treatment was 54% (95% confidence interval: 32%, 76%). The overall mean improvement after physical therapy treatment was 11.3 points (7.6-14.9) on 100-point patient-reported hip symptom measures (low to moderate certainty) and 22.2 points (4.6-39.9) on 100-point pain severity measures (low certainty). No definitive specific effect was observed regarding therapy duration or approach (ie, flexibility exercise, movement pattern training, and/or mobilization) (very low to low certainty). Very low to low certainty evidence supported viscosupplementation, corticosteroid injection, and a supportive brace. CONCLUSION: Over half of patients with nonarthritic hip-related pain reported satisfactory response to nonoperative treatment. However, the essential elements of comprehensive nonoperative treatment remain unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-306
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • acetabular dysplasia
  • acetabular labral tear
  • femoroacetabular impingement
  • hip
  • nonoperative management


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