Natural History of Structural Hip Abnormalities and the Potential for Hip Preservation

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Abstract

Hip osteoarthritis (OA) exerts a significant burden on society, affecting 3% of Americans aged >30 years. Recent advances in the understanding of the pathoanatomy and pathomechanics of the hip have led to treatment options for young adults with hip pain. Femoroacetabular impingement, specifically cam-type femoroacetabular impingement, hip dysplasia, and the sequelae of pediatric hip disease can predispose the hip to early OA. However, many patients with abnormal anatomic findings do not develop early OA, suggesting that there exist other patient characteristics that are protective despite abnormal bony anatomy. Outcome studies show that arthroscopic and open hip procedures improve pain and function in patients with symptomatic hips. However, there is currently limited evidence that these procedures extend the life of the patient's natural hip. Additional studies are needed to determine protective or adaptive factors in patients with abnormal anatomy who do not develop early OA and to determine whether joint preserving hip surgery extends the life of the native hip joint.

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