Comparison of Clinical Outcomes Between Arthroscopic Debridement and Conservative Treatment of Primary Adhesive Capsulitis of the Hip

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical outcomes and change of ROM between patients with adhesive capsulitis of the hip (ACH) who underwent arthroscopic treatment and those who underwent conservative treatment at a minimum follow-up of two years.

Methods: From 2010 to 2017, 35 hips (32 patients, 10 men and 22 women) diagnosed with primary ACH were enrolled and followed up for a minimum of two years. Arthroscopic surgery was performed in 17 patients (20 hips, operation group), and conservative treatment was performed in 15 patients (15 hips, control group). Outcomes were measured with the visual analogue scale (VAS), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) activity scale, modified Harris hip score (mHHS), and degree of range of motion (ROM).

Results: The patients in the operation group were younger than those in the control group (mean age, 36.6 vs 46.2, p = 0.032). The VAS scores were significantly lower in the operation group than in the control group at two weeks, six weeks, and 24 months of follow-up. Moreover, the operation group showed a trend of better values of UCLA and mHHS, with no statistical differences during the entire follow-up; these patients also achieved greater improvements of external rotation at six weeks’ evaluation.

Conclusion: The patients with ACH in the two groups shows improvement of pain, UCLA scale, mHHS, and ROM at a minimum two year follow-up. Based on this study, we do not routinely recommend surgical treatment. However, patients with intractable pain and severe limitation of ROM are possible candidate of arthroscopic capsular release.

Keywords: Adhesive capsulitis; Arthroscopy; Clinical outcome; Conservative treatment; Hip.