Hip arthroscopy learning curve: a prospective single-surgeon study
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Arthroscopy of the hip joint is considered a demanding procedure with long learning curve. There are only a few studies that concentrate on this topic. This prospective clinical study evaluates the learning curve of the hip arthroscopy based on clinical outcomes, surgical time, and complication rate.
In this study, we first evaluated 150 hip arthroscopy procedures performed by a single surgeon. The patient group consisted of 86 females and 64 males with mean age 37 years (range 16–69). Study cohorts were divided into groups of 50 patients. Surgical time, complication rate and clinical results based on NAHS score were recorded for each group. Statistical analysis of differences between groups was performed using the ANOVA method and paired t-test.
We found a statistically significant decrease of complication rate with more procedures performed. There were significantly better clinical outcomes after at least 100 procedures. No difference in surgical time was found, but towards the end of the learning curve, more complex procedures were performed. The only statistical difference was the portal setup time. The learning curves were constructed based on these results.
Hip arthroscopy provides very good clinical outcomes if precisely indicated and performed. It is, however, a demanding procedure with many possible pitfalls and complications. According to our study, at least 100 procedures are needed to gain basic technical and indication skills. The presence of a more skilled surgeon in the beginning of the learning curve is advised to reduce the complication rate.
KeywordsHip arthroscopy Femoro-acetabular impingement Hip reconstructive surgery Learning curve
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors state that this study was in compliance with regional ethical standards and laws. This study was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Health, Czech Republic - conceptual development of research organisation, Motol Univesity Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic No.00064203. On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there are no other conflicts of interest.