Rightly so, patients are usually (read: always) interested in the recovery timeline post-surgery. Hip arthroscopy patients are no exception. One of the most common questions I get asked by patients undergoing hip arthroscopy has to do with their post-operative recovery? When will I be able to walk without crutches? When will I be able to drive? When can I start exercising again? When can I run? and…When can I return to golf/soccer/yoga/tennis/crossfit/hockey/gymnastics etc etc?

The December 2018 edition of the American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM) featured an awesome article by Flores et al. attempting to quantify the progression of patient improvement over time or with respect to achieving the minimal clinically important difference (MCID). The purpose was to prospectively evaluate changes in patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores during the first 2 years after hip arthroscopy for FAI and to analyze when the MCID is achieved. In other words, when do patients stop improving after hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)? or When is the maximum benefit reached after surgery?

A total of 129 hips from 122 patients were evaluated. Patient improved significantly in all measured outcome scores, with almost all patients achieving the MCID for the Sports, Quality of Life, and Pain subscores by 2 years. Analysis of patient reported outcome (PRO) scores showed that for all scores, the greatest improvement occurred from presurgery to postoperative 3 months, with lesser improvements at subsequent 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year time points. Interestingly, the SF-12 physical component score, Sports, and Quality of Life scores continued to show statistically significant improvements through 2 years.

In summary, while the greatest improvement occurs within the first three months, improvements following hip arthroscopy for FAI can continue up to two years after surgery.

For the full article, click here.

For the PubMed abstract Link, click here.