This study retrospectively examined the long-term outcome of 96 asymptomatic hips in 96 patients with a mean age of 49.3 years (16 to 65) who had radiological evidence of femoroacetabular impingement. When surveillance commenced there were 17, 34, and 45 hips with cam, pincer, and mixed impingement, respectively. Overall, 79 hips (82.3%) remained free of osteoarthritis for a mean of 18.5 years (10 to 40). In contrast, 17 hips (17.7%) developed osteoarthritis at a mean of 12 years (2 to 28). No statistically significant difference was found in the rates of development of osteoarthritis among the three groups (p = 0.43). Regression analysis showed that only the presence of idiopathic osteoarthritis of the contralateral diseased hip was predictive of development of osteoarthritis on the asymptomatic side (p = 0.039).
The authors conclude that a substantial proportion of hips with femoroacetabular impingement may not develop osteoarthritis in the long-term. Accordingly, in the absence of symptoms, prophylactic surgical treatment is not warranted.
Hartofilakidis, G., Bardakos, N. V., Babis, G. C., Georgiades, G.. An examination of the association between different morphotypes of femoroacetabular impingement in asymptomatic subjects and the development of osteoarthritis of the hip. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Vol 93-B, Issue 5, 580-586