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Arthroscopic Labral Treatment in Adolescents: Clinical Outcomes With Minimum 5-Year Follow-up


Background: The success of hip arthroscopy has led to increased application in younger populations. However, hip arthroscopy remains a challenging procedure, and its safety and efficacy in the adolescent population have been controversial. Most existing literature on outcomes in such patients contains only short-term follow-up, and a paucity of evidence is available regarding long-term outcomes in adolescents.

Purpose: To report on clinical outcomes at a minimum 5-year follow-up in patients younger than 18 years who underwent arthroscopic treatment of labral tears.

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

Methods: Data were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed on all patients younger than 18 years who underwent hip arthroscopy in a tertiary hip preservation setting at a single institution. Patients were excluded if they had previous ipsilateral hip conditions or surgery. All patients underwent either labral repair or debridement for treatment of a labral tear. Patient-reported outcome measures were recorded at 3 months and at 1, 2, or a minimum of 5 years. These included the modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), Nonarthritic Hip Score, Hip Outcome Score-Sports Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS), visual analog scale, and patient satisfaction. Additionally, the abbreviated International Hip Outcome Tool and Short Form Health Survey were collected at latest follow-up.

Results: The study included 44 hips in 32 patients that underwent arthroscopic labral repair (86.4%) or labral debridement (13.6%) between April 2008 and April 2011, with latest follow-up at a mean of 69.2 months (range, 60.0-89.9 months) postoperatively. The average age at surgery was 16.3 years (range, 14.2-17.9 years), and 39 hips from female patients. Statistically significant improvements were seen in all patient-reported outcome measures from preoperative to minimum 5-year follow-up. Improvements were noted at 1-year follow-up and maintained at minimum 5-year follow-up. At the latest follow-up, the Patient Acceptable Symptomatic State was achieved in 95.5% of patients for the mHHS and 72.7% for the HOS-SSS. Two patients subsequently underwent secondary arthroscopy on the ipsilateral hip; however, the survivorship of all hips was 100%.

Conclusion: Hip arthroscopy for the treatment of labral tears in adolescents remains a technically challenging procedure that should be approached with appropriate caution. The results of the present study on a population treated in a specialized hip preservation center demonstrate that hip arthroscopy is a safe procedure with stable improvement in patient-reported outcome measures at 5 years.

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