Rate of Return to Sport and Functional OutcomesAfter Bilateral Hip Arthroscopy in High-Level Athletes

Background: Bilateral hip symptoms are common in athletes, and athletes may require treatment with bilateral hip arthroscopy. Return-to-sport (RTS) rates in competitive athletes after unilateral procedures have been reported at 74% to 93%; however, RTS rates after bilateral hip arthroscopy are still unknown.

Purpose/hypothesis: The purpose was to determine rate of RTS in competitive athletes undergoing bilateral hip arthroscopy and report minimum 1-year patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for this cohort. We hypothesized that after bilateral hip arthroscopy, the RTS rate would be similar to the square of the probability of returning after unilateral hip arthroscopy.

Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected on patients undergoing hip arthroscopy at our institution from November 2011 to July 2018. Patients were included if they underwent bilateral hip arthroscopy and were a high school, collegiate, or professional athlete before their first surgery. A patient's RTS was defined as return to competitive participation in one's sport at a level the same as or higher than the preoperative level. Additionally, minimum 1-year PROs, including modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), nonarthritic hip score, and Hip Outcome Score-Sports Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS), as well as complication rates and future surgery were compared for all patients. Rates of reaching the minimal clinically importance difference (MCID) and patient acceptable symptomatic state (PASS) for the mHHS (8 and 74, respectively) and HOS-SSS (6 and 75, respectively) were also recorded.

Results: A total of 87 patients met inclusion criteria, for which follow-up was available for 82 (94.3%). At latest follow-up, 100% of professional athletes had returned to their sport, while 53.7% of the entire cohort returned to their sport, with 75.8% of male patients returning versus 38.8% of female patients (P < .001). Of patients returning, 56% did so at the same ability or higher. The most common reason for not returning was graduation or lifestyle change (47.4%). Patients returning to sport had significantly higher PROs at latest follow-up relative to those who did not return, including mHHS (93.7 vs 87.5), nonarthritic hip score (94.4 vs 88.2), and HOS-SSS (90.9 vs 78.2) (P < .05). Rates of achieving the PASS and MCID for the mHHS were not significantly different. However, for the HOS-SSS, patients who returned had significantly higher rates of achieving the MCID and PASS thresholds.

Conclusions: The rate of RTS among competitive athletes after bilateral hip arthroscopy was similar to the square of published RTS rates after unilateral hip arthroscopy. Both those who returned to play and those who did not showed significant improvement in PROs after surgery. However, those who returned to sports achieved significantly higher scores in all outcome measures. Additionally, patients returning to sports showed a significantly higher rate of attaining the MCID and PASS scores for the HOS-SSS.

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