Comorbidities, Including Pain, from Hip Arthroscopy are Common

Lingering Complications Accompany Even Successful Procedures

Researchers from Duke Clinical Research Institute report that a substantial number of patients who undergo elective arthroscopic hip surgery are still experiencing health adversities for up to 2 years following their procedure. These issues include arthritis and pain, sleep difficulties, and cardiovascular disease and, while most abate as subjects regain full mobility, clinicians should be prepared to address complications even in cases of successful surgery. The study, published online last week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, examined the records of 1870 current and former military service members aged 18 to 50 before and after elective hip surgery. Lead author Daniel Rhon, DSc, adjunct professor at the Institute, commented, “Even among this younger group, the number and frequency of these hidden complications that arose after elective hip surgery suggests we should be taking a more wholistic approach, proactively assessing patients for risks other than the standard surgical complications we more commonly look for.”

The analysis examined subjects’ medical records for 12 months before and 24 months following surgery, noting incidences of comorbidities including mental health disorders, substance abuse problems, and metabolic syndrome, in addition to those noted above. Postprocedure incidence of all comorbidities increased dramatically, according to the findings, with a 166% increase in chronic pain, 132% increase in arthritis, and 111% higher frequency of sleep disorders, among others. Sleep disruption was noted to be of particular concern, as it frequently compounds the experience of chronic pain. Dr. Rhon continued, “Our study serves as an important alert to both doctors and patients. Armed with this knowledge, we can be vigilant in addressing these problems earlier and potentially stopping others from developing.”

Read about the findings and recommendations.

The journal abstract may be read here.

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