High Rate of Return to High-Intensity Interval Training After Arthroscopic Management of Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome

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Abstract

Background:

Since the inception of CrossFit in 2000, the popularity of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in the United States has risen dramatically. While HIIT is a highly efficient exercise for weight loss and improved conditioning, some literature reports injuries in up to 34% of HIIT participants. We sought to evaluate the functional and sports-specific results of hip arthroscopic surgery in recreational HIIT participants.

Purpose:

To evaluate patients’ ability to return to HIIT after hip arthroscopic surgery for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS).

Study Design:

Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods:

Consecutive patients with FAIS who had identified themselves as participating in HIIT and had undergone hip arthroscopic surgery for the treatment of FAIS by a single fellowship-trained surgeon between 2012 and 2015 were reviewed. Demographic data; preoperative physical examination findings; preoperative imaging results; preoperative patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores including the modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), Hip Outcome Score–Activities of Daily Living (HOS-ADL), Hip Outcome Score–Sports-Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS), and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain; and postoperative examination and PRO scores at a minimum 2 years after surgery, including a HIIT-specific questionnaire, were assessed for all patients.

Results:

Thirty-two patients (13 male, 19 female) with a mean age of 34.7 ± 6.9 years (range, 21-49 years) were identified with a minimum 24-month follow-up. Among these, 22 participated in CrossFit, 4 in Shred415, 3 in Orangetheory, and 3 in self-directed cross-training including plyometrics. Preoperatively, 14 patients had discontinued HIIT because of activity-related hip complaints, 17 patients had scaled back involvement in HIIT, and 1 patient maintained her baseline routine. Postoperatively, 28 of 32 patients (88%) returned to HIIT at a mean of 9.8 ± 5.7 months after surgery (range, 3-24 months); 96% returned to HIIT at the same level as or better than before the injury. Fear of reinjury was the most common reason for cessation (3/4). Preinjury and postoperative involvement in HIIT were comparable (5.3 vs 5.1 h/wk, respectively; P = .8). All patients had significant improvements in the HOS-ADL score (69.7 ± 17.3 to 94.2 ± 8.4; P < .001), HOS-SSS score (49.2 ± 21.2 to 83.3 ± 21.4; P < .001), mHHS score (59.9 ± 14.2 to 85.4 ± 11.6; P < .001), and VAS for pain score (7.5 ± 1.8 to 1.1 ± 1.3; P < .001) from preoperatively to postoperatively.

Conclusion:

Arthroscopic treatment of FAIS in recreational HIIT participants resulted in significant improvements in hip function and predictably high rates of patient satisfaction. Postoperatively, 88% of patients returned to HIIT, 44% noted improvement from preinjury HIIT performance, and the mean weekly participation was comparable with before the injury.

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