Hip Arthroscopy Successfully Treats Femoroacetabular Impingement in Adolescent Athletes

Background: There is evidence that femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is increasingly prevalent among adolescent athletes. Abnormal contact forces across the hip and alterations in bony morphology characteristic of FAI may be especially detrimental in this group, given their young age and active lifestyle.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report the findings, outcomes, and return to sport percentage among adolescent athletes with FAI treated with hip arthroscopy.

Methods: A retrospective review of all patients younger than 18 years who underwent hip arthroscopy for FAI at a single institution was performed. All athletes who were attempting to return to sport and underwent hip arthroscopy were included. Patients with previous hip surgery and/or hip conditions were excluded. Arthroscopic procedures and an assessment of intra-articular findings were recorded. Patient-reported outcome measures were recorded at 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years postoperatively, and included the modified Harris hip score, the nonarthritic hip score, hip outcome score-sports subscale, visual analogue scale for pain, and patient satisfaction. Return to sport percentage and ability levels were also noted.

Results: There were 96 eligible cases of adolescent athletes treated with hip arthroscopy; 81 (84.4%) hips in 69 patients had 2-year follow-up. Running/track and field was the most common sport (25), followed by soccer (12), dance (10), baseball/softball (9), and basketball (6). There were 61 females and 20 males, whose average age was 15.9±1.2 y (range: 13.1 to 18.0 y). The most common procedures were labral repair (81.5%), iliopsoas fractional lengthening (72.8%), femoroplasty (69.1%), and acetabuloplasty (66.7%). Capsular repair or plication was performed in most patients (81.5%). Cartilage damage was more common on the acetabulum than the femur, with Outerbridge grade 2 or higher occurring in 23.5% and 4.9% of hips, respectively. Statistically significant improvements were seen in all patient-reported outcomes from preoperative to minimum 2-year follow-up. A total of 84.0% of patients had returned to their sport at latest follow-up. There were 6 (7.4%) patients who underwent revision arthroscopy at a mean of 37.3 months postoperatively.

Conclusions: Symptomatic FAI in adolescent athletes can be successfully treated with hip arthroscopy, with a higher return to sport rate and low complications and reoperation rate at minimum 2-year follow-up.