One Bony Morphology, Two Pathologic Entities: Sex-Based Differences in Patients With Borderline Hip Dysplasia Undergoing Hip Arthroscopy


Background: Sex-based differences have been largely uncharacterized for patients with borderline hip dysplasia (BHD) undergoing hip arthroscopy.

Purpose: To evaluate for sex-based differences in clinical and pathologic characteristics as well as surgical outcomes in patients with BHD undergoing hip arthroscopy.

Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: Between January 2011 and December 2018, data were prospectively collected on all patients with BHD undergoing primary hip arthroscopy. Patients were included if they had preoperative and minimum 2-year postoperative scores for the modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), Non-arthritic Hip Score (NAHS), and visual analog scale for pain. Patients with previous ipsilateral hip conditions or surgery, Tönnis grade >1, lateral center-edge angle <18° or >25°, or workers' compensation status were excluded. Patients were then divided by sex and propensity score matched in a 1:1 ratio for body mass index, age, and Tönnis grade. The rates of patients who achieved the minimal clinically important difference were recorded for the mHHS and NAHS. The rates of achieving the patient acceptable symptomatic state for the mHHS were calculated.

Results: A total of 344 hips met the inclusion criteria, and 317 hips (92%) had adequate follow-up. Propensity score matching created cohorts of 109 male and 109 female patients. Male patients had significantly higher preoperative average alpha angles (69.79° vs 58.17°, P < .001), more often requiring a femoroplasty (97.2% vs 83.5%, P < .001), and had higher rates of complex labral tearing (50.5% vs 33.0%, P < .001). Male patients also had higher rates of grade 3 and 4 acetabular labral articular disruption (62.4% vs 19.3%, P < .001) and higher rates of grade 3 and 4 acetabular cartilage injury (59.6% vs 20.2%, P < .001) requiring a microfracture more frequently (32.1% vs 7.3%, P < .001). Female patients more typically had painful internal snapping requiring iliopsoas fractional lengthening (60.6% vs 32.1%, P < .001). Female patients also underwent capsular plication more regularly to address hip instability (79.8% vs 45.9%, P < .001). Male and female patients showed significant improvements in all outcome scores after surgery (P < .001). Female patients achieved the minimal clinically important difference for the NAHS at higher rates (85.3% vs 71.6%, P = .020).

Conclusion: Female and male patients with BHD who underwent hip arthroscopy achieved favorable outcomes but had notably dissimilar pathology. Hence, although they share similar acetabular bony morphology, male and female patients with BHD may represent 2 very different pathologic entities.

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