Patients undergoing hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) have a high rate of return to work at a mean of less than two months postoperatively, according to a study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Hip arthroscopy for FAIS can provide improvements in pain and may allow patients to return to physical activities; however, no prior studies have evaluated return to work among a general population of adults after arthroscopic surgery for FAIS. Researchers in the present study sought to assess rate of return to work, time required to return to work, and factors associated with time required to return to work.
The study included 97 consecutive patients aged 25 to 59 years who underwent arthroscopic surgery for FAIS between June 2018 and December 2018. Patients with workers’ compensation and less than one year of follow-up were excluded. At a minimum of one year postoperatively, researchers assessed demographics, employment characteristics, Hip Outcome Score (HOS) activities of daily living and sports specific subscales, modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), 12-Item International Hip Outcome Tool (iHOT-12), visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, and return to work characteristics. Patients were categorized by work physical activity level: sedentary, light, moderate, heavy, or very heavy.
A total of 79 patients (81.4%) completed return to work surveys, 61 of whom were employed preoperatively. Mean time worked per week was 42.8 ± 12.5 hours. Most patients’ work was classified as sedentary (42.6%), while 24.6% were classified as moderate. All 61 employed patients returned to work at a mean of 7.3 weeks (range, <1-88 weeks) postoperatively, 60 of whom (95.2%) returned to full duty.
Time required to return to work at full duty was strongly correlated with expected time off from work (P<0.0001) and moderately correlated with work classification (P=0.0001). All patients had significant pre- to postoperative improvements in HOS-activities of daily living (64.8 ± 15.3 to 87.1 ± 12.2; P<0.001), HOS-sports specific (42.8 ± 18.8 to 76.7 ± 16.5; P<0.001), iHOT-12 (31.3 ± 18.8 to 69.3 ± 21.1; P<0.001), mHHS (61.8 ± 12.1 to 80.3 ± 14.1; P<0.001), and VAS for pain (5.19 ± 2.11 to 2.40 ± 1.96; P<0.001) scores.
“These results are valuable for orthopaedic surgeons, patients, and employers when establishing a timeline for expected return to work after surgery,” the researchers concluded.