It is well known that complications can arise from the traction during hip artroscopy. The aim of this investigation was to gain a deeper insight into these complications. We also wanted to investigate, how the patients perceive and cope with traction related complications.
The investigation is based on a prospective cohort study partly supplemented with interviews. Data were collected from questionnaires filled in by, patients who had undergone hip arthroscopy and data from patient records. A total of 100 consecutive patients were included. They answered the questionnaire 10 days post surgery and again 90 days postoperatively. The patients were asked about the duration of complications or symptoms and about the location of the complication in the groin/perineal area, knee and foot/ankle. The questionnaire was supplemented with a semi-structured interview with 6 patients, who had experienced complications related to the traction.
We found, that 74% of the patients had at least one complication at the groin, knee or foot level. 32% had complications in the groin or perineal area in the form of swelling, scratches/bruising or sensibility changes.
49% had complications at knee level in the form of swelling, laxity feeling or sensibility changes. 37% had complications at foot or ankle level in the form of swelling, sensibility changes or pressure marks. Several patients reported complications related to two or more locations. Generally the complications were limited and disappeared within 2-4 weeks. However 5 patients with knee complication still had the complications, 3 months postoperatively. Females had more complications than males. The interviews revealed that patients lacked information about possible complications, duration of complications and self-care/coping strategies.
The results of the present study demonstrate an incidence of 74 % of traction related complications after hip arthroscopy.The majority of these resolve within 3 months. Also patients lack information about these complications. These results are surprising as the existing literature report much lower complication rates related to traction after hip arthroscopy than demonstrated in the present study.