Effectiveness of nonoperative management of hip microinstability

Review written by Dr Joanne Kemp info

Key Points

  1. 70% of patients (almost exclusively women) with hip microinstability were able to avoid hip arthroscopy surgery for four years after completing a 6-week physical therapy exercise program.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Hip microinstability is increasingly diagnosed as a cause of hip pain in younger active adults and is thought to occur when there is excessive movement of the femoral head relative to the acetabulum. It is thought to lead to an increased risk of cartilage and labral pathology, pain, and possibly early hip osteoarthritis in affected people.

People with hip microinstability should always undergo a course of non-operative treatment prior to considering surgery. Non-operative treatment is usually exercise-based therapy that aims to improve the dynamic stability of the hip joint through strengthening of the hip stabilizing muscles. To date, no studies have investigated whether this treatment approach is effective.

This case series study aimed to determine the success rate of non-operative treatment of hip microinstability.

Hip microinstability is thought to occur when there is excessive movement of the femoral head relative to the acetabulum.
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A 6-week strengthening program may reduce pain, improve function, and improve quality of life in those with hip pain.

METHODS

  • The researchers conducted a retrospective case series study, where they went back and reviewed the medical files of patients who had undergone treatment in their clinic between 2013 and 2016.
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