Most Patients Return to Running after Hip Arthroscopy

    Ninety-six percent of patients who were recreational or competitive runners prior to developing femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) returned to their sport within 9 months of arthroscopic surgery, according to research presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

    In the study, researchers retrospectively reviewed the records of 51 FAI patients (23 men and 28 women) who had undergone hip arthroscopy and had identified themselves as recreational or competitive runners. Patient outcomes 2 years after arthroscopy were assessed using a running-specific questionnaire and common outcome and activity measurements.

    The average age of patients was 27 years and body mass index (BMI) was 24 kg/m2. Before the procedure, patients had stopped running because of FAI pain for an average of 9 months.

    Among the results:

    • After surgery, 49 patients (96%) returned to running at an average of 9 months after surgery.
    • Increasing BMI was associated with a slower return to running.
    • Patients who had stopped running for more than 8 months prior to hip arthroscopy returned to running significantly more slowly than those who had stopped running closer to surgery.
    • After 2 years, the mean running distance of patients had decreased significantly from an average of 10 miles per week to 6 miles.
    • Patient outcome and activity scores all improved significantly for patients after surgery, with females showing greater progress than males.

    “Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive and effective treatment for FAI in runners,” said David M. Levy, MD, lead author of the study and an orthopaedic surgeon at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.


    Levy DM, Kuhns B, Gryzbowski JS, Nho SJ. High rate of return to running after hip arthroscopy. Presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, March 14-18, 2017, in San Diego, California.