Considering Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery? Think Again…

 By Eliana Rosenzweig

Hip arthroscopy, a form of minimally invasive and elective hip surgery used to diagnose and treat a large range of hip complications, may be doing more harm than good. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, carried out by Daniel Rhon and others at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, suggests that while hip arthoscopy can be successful short-term in diagnosis or treatment of pain, many wide-ranging complications are likely to arise over time that clinicians should be prepared to deal with. The study collected and observed data from the Military Health Records of 1,870 patients that underwent arthroscopic hip surgery between the years 2004-2013. The health records for each patient included 12 months prior to surgery all the way through 24 months post-surgery. Researchers found that post-surgery incidences of comorbidities skyrocketed, with mental disorder at 84%, chronic pain diagnoses at 166%, substance abuse was 57% more prevalent, cardiovascular disorders increased incidence by 71%, metabolic syndrome by 86%, arthritis was found to be 132%, and sleep disorders were found to be a comorbidity 111% of the time. Some of these comorbidities can be explained, such as an irregular sleep schedule, which is likely occurring during the lengthy recovering from surgery where the patient cannot exercise and are often in pain before becoming completely better. In addition, the nature of pain from the surgery can often lead to irregular sleep patterns just by waking up from the pain too often. This study serves its purpose to alert both doctors and patients alike to be more aware of the comorbidities that are prevalent with this surgery so that in the future some of these comorbidities can potentially be prevented before they become life altering or impairing.


Duke University Medical Center. (2018, September 28). Hidden health problems can appear up to two years after elective hip surgeries: Even when surgeries are successful, patients report more pain, arthritis and other ailments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 8, 2018 from