Short Symptom Duration Is Associated With Superior Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Primary Hip Arthroscopy: A Systematic Review

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Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopy and Related Surgery


Purpose: To evaluate the effect of duration of preoperative hip pain symptoms on outcomes in patients undergoing primary hip arthroscopy for the treatment of femoroacetabular impingement syndrome.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted with the following key words: "hip arthroscopy," "outcomes," "femoroacetabular impingement," "duration," "symptoms," "time," "delay," "earlier," and "timing" was performed in PubMed and Cochrane in May 2022. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines were used for this review. When available, article information including the author, study type, study period, and follow-up, demographics, preoperative duration of symptoms, surgical outcome tools, and secondary surgeries were recorded.

Results: Six studies including 3,298 hips were included in this systematic review. Five studies had a minimum of 2 years' follow-up, and 1 study had a minimum of 5 years' follow-up. Femoroacetabular impingement (including subtypes cam and pincer impingement) was a surgical indication in all 6 studies and the most common indication for surgery. All 6 studies reported patient-reported outcome scores. All studies conducted statistical analyses comparing the duration of symptoms' effect on outcomes and found superior outcomes in patients with shorter duration of symptoms before hip arthroscopy. In 3 studies, modified Harris Hip Score, Hip Outcome Score - Activities of Daily Living, Hip Outcome Score - Sports-Specific Subscale, and visual analog scale for satisfaction ranged from 79.1-82.6, 86.3-88.4, 75-75.5. and 75.3-82.5, respectively, in cohorts with <2-year duration of symptoms, compared with 72-77.7, 79.6-84, 65.0-66.7, and 69.7-75.3 in >2-year cohort. Similarly, in one study, the <2-year duration group was reported to have a conversion to total hip arthroplasty rate of 0.6% and an overall secondary surgery rate of 0.9%, whereas the >2-year duration group had a conversion to total hip arthroplasty rate of 6.4% and an overall secondary surgery rate of 10.1%.

Conclusions: Patients with hip pain symptoms of less than 2 years before arthroscopic treatment of femoroacetabular impingement syndrome have better outcomes than those patients who had a longer duration of symptoms. However, significant improvements can still be expected regardless of time between onset of symptoms and surgery.

Level of evidence: Level IV, systematic review of Level III and Level IV studies.



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hip arthroscopy, femoroacetabular impingement