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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2018 Mar;26(3):963-968. doi: 10.1007/s00167-017-4573-z. Epub 2017 May 17.

Assessing long-term return to play after hip arthroscopy in football players evaluating risk factors for good prognosis.

Author information

Artroscopia GC, Fundación García Cugat, Hospital Quirón Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Mutualitat Catalana de Futbolistes, Federación Española de Fútbol-RFEF, Barcelona, Spain.
Artroscopia GC, Fundación García Cugat, Hospital Quirón Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.



Groin pain is the third most common disease in football players and has often been associated with hip pathology such as femoroacetabular impingement and labral lesions. Hip arthroscopy offers possibilities of function restoration via minimally invasive procedures. The aim of this study is to evaluate professional football player's injuries and their return to play after hip arthroscopy for FAI and labral injuries.


Patients that underwent hip arthroscopy between 2009 and 2014 were selected retrospectively. From this population, only professional soccer players competing at national level were included (Tegner 10). Arthroscopic surgery was proposed in patients with persistent pain. All patients were assessed for VAS score preoperatively and at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months post-op. HOS (sport and DLA) and mHHS tests were performed at the same time periods.


All patients were men with a mean age of 26.5 ± 7.1 years old. Preoperative VAS (7.4 ± 1.3), HOS ADL (67.7 ± 5.5), HOS sport (37.6 ± 18.7) and mHHS (72.5 ± 8.8) showed improved scores during long-term follow-up. Time to return to play was 10.8 months (SD ± 4.3), with range between 4 and 20 months. Mean follow-up was 45.4 ± 15.6 months (range from 26 to 72 months). No differences were observed between non-active and active patients at final follow-up with respect to chondral lesions, but significant differences were observed with reference to management of the labrum (p = 0.031), where a higher rate of labrectomies existed among inactive patients and a higher rate of suture among active patients.


Hip arthroscopy is a safe procedure with very good return to play results, but for optimized return to football one should consider patient age at the time of surgery, the condition of the labrum and low scores on the Harris Hip Score (mHHS) and HOS (sport version) as predictive factors for poor prognosis. Level of evidence IV.


Groin pain; Hip arthroscopy; Return to play; Soccer

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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