Research carried out by the New York-based Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) found that 25% of patients with hip impingements who underwent an arthroscopic procedure saw a slow-down in osteoarthritis development.

The retrospective study, published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, saw investigators examining X-ray images of 100 patients who exhibited signs of impingement in both hips and saw a slower progression of arthritis symptoms. Hip impingement occurs when the bones of the hip joint are not shaped properly, causing them to rub against one another. The persistent friction can lead to pain and stiffness as well as eventually progressing to advanced arthritis.

The severity of arthritis in each hip was assessed by researchers using X-ray images taken before surgery and a minimum of ten years later. Researchers were unaware of which hips had undergone surgical correction during the assessment.

Researchers discovered that analysis revealed only 28% of hips that had undergone an arthroscopic procedure showed an increase in arthritis progression at a minimum of 10 years after surgery in comparison to 48% of nonoperative hips.

There was no difference in the development of arthritis between the operative and nonoperative hips for 70% of patients, and 25%, had less arthritis in their operative hip compared to their nonoperative hip 10 years later.

Brian Kelly, president of HSS, said: “I’m very proud of our team for publishing this work, which validates hip arthroscopy as a longer-term joint-preserving procedure in carefully selected patients.

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“This paper is a prime example of the benefits of advancing innovations in surgical techniques and analysing patient data collected over many years so we can understand and share the factors associated with optimal results.”

Research from GlobalData forecasts that the US arthroscope market will increase from $36.4m to $42m in 2030, with much of that growth determined to be driven by the advancement of minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures, including the reduction of post-operative recovery times and greater surgical precision.

Study co-author, Danyal Nawabi, added: “We can now identify patients most likely to benefit from arthroscopy for hip impingement and inform patients about their anticipated odds of successful outcomes based on their personal risk factors. For ideal candidates, the evidence shows that hip arthroscopy may delay or prevent arthritis for one in four patients. That’s very powerful information.”

Elsewhere in the field of arthroscopic procedures, Pristine Surgical has launched Summit 4K, a single-use surgical arthroscope in centres around the US designed to address the difficulties that come with traditional surgical visualisation.