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Return to sport after hip surgery for femoroacetabular impingement: a systematic review
  1. Nicola C Casartelli1,
  2. Michael Leunig2,
  3. Nicola A Maffiuletti1,
  4. Mario Bizzini1
  1. 1Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland
  2. 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicola C Casartelli, Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Schulthess Clinic, Lengghalde 2, Zurich CH-8008, Switzerland; nicola.casartelli{at}


Background We aimed to appraise (1) the rate of return to sport of athletes after hip surgery for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and (2) some aspects that may influence the return to sport.

Methods Four databases (EMBASE, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library) were searched until 21 October 2014. Studies evaluated return to sport of athletes who underwent hip surgery for the treatment of symptomatic FAI. A validated tool was used for quality evaluation of the studies.

Results A total of 18 case series (level of evidence IV) with moderate-to-high methodological quality were included. On average, 87% of athletes returned to sport after hip surgery for FAI and 82% returned to the same sport level as before the occurrence of the symptoms. Professional athletes seem to return to sport at a higher rate compared with recreational and collegiate athletes. Sport participation after hip arthroscopy tends to decrease for professional athletes at short-term and mid-term follow-ups. Diffuse hip osteoarthritis at the time of surgery may not allow athletes to return to sport.

Conclusions Most athletes return to sport after hip surgery for the treatment of symptomatic FAI. The level of competition, time of evaluation after hip surgery and presence of articular cartilage lesions at the time of surgery may influence return to sport. Future studies with higher levels of evidence should describe and evaluate return to sport protocols after hip surgery for FAI.

  • Hip
  • Surgery
  • Sports

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