New Review Asserts That the Supporting Evidence is Thin

A paper published last week in the journal Nature Reviews Rheumatology contends that the available evidence supporting the use of minimal access hip arthroscopy is lacking, and that more rigorous evaluation is warranted. The procedure has become the treatment of choice over open surgery for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), a condition in which abnormal femurs lead to damaged cartilage in the hip joint.   It is a common source of hip pain in young adults, especially athletes, and has prompted an 18-times increase in surgeries during the last decade.  But the review, authored by researchers at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, contends that the available studies assessing FAI surgery are compromised by small sample size and other limitations.

Review author Mohit Bhandari, MD, MSc, PhD, FRCSC, professor of orthopedics for McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine commented “The evidence to date is by no means conclusive. Whether hip arthroscopy works, and for whom it works, remains a highly debated issue in our field.” McMaster researchers are embarking on a new clinical trial, named FIRST, whose objective is to better measure hip arthroscopy procedures versus placebo operations and to determine whether the increased popularity of the surgical approach is warranted. Read more about the research and objectives here.

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