Chronic Hip Injury Has a Negative Emotional Impact on the Male Athlete With Femoroacetabular Impingement

Published:October 24, 2020DOI:


      To evaluate the impact of hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) on both the physical and mental components of the 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) and assess how changes in health status compare with improvements in physical function and ability to continue to play (CTP) 2 years after surgery.


      Data collected prospectively from male athletes undergoing primary arthroscopic correction of FAI between November 2008 and October 2016 were analyzed. Physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component scores of the SF-36 were assessed preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively. The minimal clinical important difference (MCID) was calculated using an anchor-based percentage of possible improvement technique, and the proportion of athletes achieving MCID was established. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of achieving MCID. CTP was assessed at 2-year follow-up.


      486 cases were included, age 25.9 ± 5.6 years. Median PCS improved from baseline 69.4 (51.9 to 85.0) to 91.9 (81.9 to 97.5) at 2 years (P < .001). Median MCS remained unchanged—preoperative, 88 (76 to 92); postoperative, 88 (80 to 96)—although the difference in the distribution of scores was statistically significant (P < .001). Calculated MCID was 60.1% (PCS) and 58.1% (MCS). Mean improvement was significantly higher for PCS compared with MCS (17.4 versus 3.7, P < .001) The proportion of cases achieving MCID was 56.9% and 28.7% for PCS and MCS, respectively, and the difference was statistically significant (P < .001). Lower Tonnis grade (odds ratio [OR] 0.601, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.377 to 0.958; P = .032) and symptom duration <2 years (OR 0.624, 95% CI 0.406 to 0.960; P = .032) were predictive of achieving PCS MCID. Higher preoperative scores decreased the odds of achieving MCID (OR 0.965, 95% CI 0.955 to 0.975; P < .001; OR 0.972, 95% CI 0.958 to 0.986; P < .001 for PCS and MCS, respectively). 77.3% continued to play their main preinjury sport. Where CTP was not achieved, a significantly higher proportion of cases failed to meet MCID for the MCS compared with PCS (85% versus 60%, P < .001).


      Arthroscopic management of sports-related FAI results in excellent overall clinical outcome and high levels of satisfaction and CTP at 2 years. Chronic hip injury has a significant negative effect on the physical and mental well-being of athletes; corrective surgery may restore physical function but is more limited in its ability to improve mental health status in this athletic cohort.

      Level of Evidence

      IV, therapeutic case series.
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