To describe outcomes of the conservative treatment of patients who had the clinical presentation of a prearthritic, intra-articular hip disorder, including acetabular labral tears, developmental hip dysplasia, and femoroacetabular impingement.
Prospective observational clinical outcomes study.
Outpatient orthopedic clinic at a tertiary university hospital.
Patients presenting with prearthritic, intra-articular hip disorders were recruited. Fifty-eight consecutive patients were enrolled; 6 were lost to follow-up, and 52 subjects completed the study.
Patients were recruited on the basis of symptoms, distribution of pain, and the findings of a physical examination. Radiographic measurements of the hip were obtained for all subjects to describe the presence or absence and extent of deformity and/or osteoarthritis. All subjects completed a directed course of conservative treatment. After 3 months of conservative care, subjects with continued limitations, reduction of symptoms with a diagnostic intra-articular hip injection, and a surgically amenable lesion found on a magnetic resonance arthrogram proceeded to surgery.
Numeric Pain Score (0-10), Short Form-12, Modified Harris Hip Score, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, Nonarthritic Hip Score, Baecke Questionnaire of Habitual Activity, and patient choice to have surgery.
Fifty-eight patients (9 men and 49 women) with a mean age of 35 ± 11 years (range, 18-50 years) enrolled in the study. Fifty-two subjects completed the study. Twenty-three subjects (44%) reported satisfaction with conservative care. Twenty-nine subjects (56%) chose to have surgery. Both groups demonstrated equally significant improvement (P value ranges: P = .03 to P = .0001) in all outcome measures from baseline to 1-year follow-up. Subjects who chose surgery had higher baseline activity scores compared with the conservative treatment group (P = .02).
All subjects with signs and symptoms of prearthritic, intra-articular hip disorders who were treated with conservative treatment alone and with conservative treatment followed by surgery demonstrated significant improvement in pain and functioning from baseline to 1 year. Forty-four percent of patients improved with conservative care alone, and 56% chose to have surgery after receiving conservative care. Persons with more active lifestyles were more likely to choose surgery. These data suggest that a trial of conservative management for persons with prearthritic, intra-articular hip disorders should be considered before engaging in surgical intervention.