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Outcomes After Primary Hip Arthroscopy in Athletes Older Than 40 Years Compared With Nonathletes


Background: Master athletes (MAs), or athletes older than 40 years, make up a patient population whose outcomes after primary arthroscopic hip surgery are largely unknown.

Purpose: To report minimum 2-year outcomes of MAs after primary hip arthroscopy and compare their results to a propensity-matched nonathlete (NA) control group.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected between February 2008 and April 2019 and retrospectively reviewed for all patients who underwent primary hip arthroscopy. Patients were included if they were older than 40 years and had preoperative data for the modified Harris Hip Score, Nonarthritic Hip Score, Hip Outcome Score-Sports Specific Subscale, and visual analog scale score for pain. MAs reported participating in organized sports competition within 1 year before surgery and were propensity matched to a control group of patients who did not report participating in organized sports competition (NAs). Patient characteristics, radiographic and intraoperative findings, surgical procedures performed, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) were reported and compared between the groups. The rates of achieving the minimal clinically important difference and maximum outcome improvement satisfaction threshold were recorded.

Results: A total of 366 hips were eligible; 328 (89.6%) had adequate follow-up data. 328 patients met inclusion criteria but 88 were not included due to the restrictions of the propensity score match ratio. Of these, 80 hips (76 patients) were classified as MAs (mean age, 48.9 ± 6.2 years) and were propensity matched 1:2 to an NA control group. Groups were comparable for baseline demographic and radiographic parameters, intraoperative findings, and procedures performed. MAs had significantly better baseline and minimum 2-year PROM scores (P < .05), higher satisfaction (P = .01), and higher rates of achieving clinically meaningful improvement across all the outcome tools used (P < .05). MAs, when compared with NAs, had lower rates of secondary arthroscopy (0% vs 7.5%, respectively; P = .001) and conversion to total hip arthroplasty (12.5% vs 26.9%, respectively; P = .011).

Conclusion: MAs demonstrated favorable outcomes after primary hip arthroscopy. When compared with a propensity score-matched control group of NA patients, MAs demonstrated better preoperative and postoperative PROMs, higher rates of clinically meaningful improvement, and lower rates of secondary arthroscopy and conversion to total hip arthroplasty. Absolute improvements in PROM scores were similar between the groups.

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