EVIDENCE from a study carried out in the USA shows that arthroscopic hip surgery might not always be a suitable option for people with osteoarthritis affecting the hip joint.
The study followed 7,531 patients between the years of 2005 and 2012, assessing the number participants that required hip replacement within 2 years of receiving this type of minimally invasive keyhole surgery. This new research could allow for more informed decisions to be reached on whether conducting surgery on patients with arthritis will be beneficial in the long-term.
The study found that 3% of patients aged <40 years old received a total hip arthroplasty within 2 years of surgery. This rose to 35% for patients aged between 60 years and 69 years, the group most likely to have arthritis. Lead author of the study Dr William Schairer, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City, New York, USA, commented: “We found an increased risk of total hip arthroplasty conversion in older patients and in patients with osteoarthritis or obesity at the time of hip arthroscopy.”
Dr Schairer also explained that previous research has already warned against hip arthroscopy in patients with more than mild arthritis. “This is important information for patients and surgeons so they can have a real discussion about what types of treatments would be most beneficial in the long run based on a patient’s individual circumstances,” he concluded.
Hip replacement surgeries are common procedures but this study reveals their potentially limited benefit for groups who are either at risk of or currently suffering from arthritis. Dr Katherine Free, research liaison manager at Arthritis Research UK, Derby, UK, highlighted the potential benefit of alternative treatments to the surgery. “Joint replacements continue to transform the lives of thousands of people living with the pain of severe osteoarthritis; however, for those with less severe disease, invasive procedures such as hip arthroscopies are not necessarily the best option. Identifying new treatment options for this group of people could reduce the number requiring additional surgery further down the line.”