High-Level Athletes Who Did Not Return to Sport for Reasons Unrelated to Their Hip Achieve Successful Midterm Outcomes With a Benchmarking Against High-Level Athletes Who Returned to Sport

Published:December 01, 2021DOI:


      1) To report minimum 2- and 5-year outcomes of high-level athletes who did not return to sport (RTS) after hip arthroscopy for reasons unrelated to their hip (T athletes) and 2) to benchmark these findings against a propensity-matched control group of high-level athletes who returned to sport (RTS athletes).


      Data were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed for professional, collegiate, and high school athletes between April 2008 and October 2015, who underwent primary hip arthroscopy. Athletes were considered eligible if they did not return to sport for reasons unrelated to their hip such as loss of interest, graduation, or a lifestyle transition (T athletes). Inclusion criteria were preoperative and minimum 5-year postoperative patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for the modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), Non-Arthritic Hip Score (NAHS), Hip Outcome Score-Sports Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS), and the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain. Clinical outcomes were assessed using the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) and maximum outcome improvement satisfaction threshold (MOIST). T athletes were then propensity-matched to a control group of high-level athletes who returned to sport after hip arthroscopy (RTS athletes) for comparison.


      Twenty-seven T hips (25 patients) were included in the analysis with a mean follow-up time of 38.9 ± 16.8 and 72.1 ± 16.8 months for minimum 2- and 5-year outcomes, respectively. They demonstrated significant improvement in all measured PROs. When compared to a propensity-matched control group of RTS athletes, T athletes demonstrated similar improvement in PROs (mHHS, NAHS, and HOS-SSS) and achieved MCID at similar rates for NAHS (T: 77.8% vs RTS: 68.8%; P = .570) and HOS-SSS (T: 70.3% vs RTS: 76.6%, P = .824) compared to RTS athletes; however T athletes demonstrated higher rates of achieving MCID for mHHS (T: 88.9% vs RTS: 72.9% P = .033).


      Athletes who did not return to sport for reasons unrelated to their hip demonstrated favorable outcomes at minimum 2- and 5-year follow-up. They had similar PROs and rates of achieving MCID for HOS-SSS compared to a propensity-matched control group of high-level athletes who returned to sport. Return to sport status may not necessarily be correlated to the patient's perception of their own outcome.

      Level of Evidence

      III, retrospective cohort study.
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