Hip replacement after sports injury

...what is the likelihood and financial burden of hip replacement surgery after sports injuries?

Having a hip or thigh injury triples the hazard ratio of undergoing hip replacement within 15 years. Femoral fractures and hip dislocations are the injuries more strongly associated with a future hip replacement. These are conclusions of a population study, which recorded a total of 64,750 sports injuries leading to emergency care and/or hospitalisation during the study period. 

Of 64,750 sports injuries included in this study, 815 involved the hip or thigh; 368 hip replacements were performed. The cost associated with the 368 hip replacements was $AUD 10 million. 

It was shown that in people who sustained a hip or thigh sports injury and progressed to hip replacement, the average time from injury to hip replacement was 5 years.

These findings, together with the added financial burden of the surgeries, emphasises the importance of effective injury prevention programs and adequate rehabilitation protocols for hip injuries.

> From: Ackerman et al., Phys Ther Sport 41 (2020) 9-15 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary.

Expert opinion

This is an interesting study as it shows a (perhaps) surprisingly quick progression of hip injuries to hip replacement at a population level.

The magnitude of the increase in likelihood compared to non-hip injuries show the importance of addressing the cause of these injuries at a community level and not only in elite athletes.

Although the heavy financial burden of hip replacements is probably less surprising, it is another factor which should encourage the investment in addressing the causes of these injuries in the whole population.

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