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FAIT is a multicentre randomised controlled clinical trial comparing surgical and non-surgical approaches to treating femoroacetabular impingement.

The study is coordinated by SITU in collaboration with the ARUK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis.

Background

Femoroacetabular impingement is caused when patients have additional bone adjacent to their hip joint which damages the joint cartilage when the hip moves in certain directions. In addition to causing pain there is also evidence that this impingement may lead to the development of osteoarthritis at the joint at a later stage. Keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) to remove this extra bone is being performed by an increasing number of surgeons. While this surgery has been shown to be effective at improving symptoms at short term, symptoms also frequently improve with physiotherapy and activity modification. However, there is no evidence that either treatment can prevent the risk of development of osteoarthritis at a later stage. As a result in some primary care trusts in the UK, it is believed that there is inadequate evidence of benefit from surgery to justify the cost. This trial (FAIT) will provide the opportunity to compare the effectiveness of surgical (arthroscopy) and non-surgical (physiotherapy and activity modification) management at improving symptoms and preventing the development of osteoarthritis.

Aim

To determine whether arthroscopic surgery or physiotherapy and activity modification are superior at improving symptoms and preventing the development of osteoarthritis in patients with femoroacetabular impingement.

Method

This is a pragmatic, randomised controlled trial comparing surgical management (arthroscopy) with non-surgical management (physiotherapy and activity modification) in the treatment of femoroacetabular impingement. Patients will be recruited by the Consultant Hip Surgeon in collaboration with the local research team. We aim to recruit 120 patients from 2 centres in the UK. Information to be collected includes:

  • Patient reported outcome measures assessing hip function, pain and quality of life 
  • Clinical assessment 
  • Radiological assessments 
  • Biomarkers of osteoarthritis 
  • Health care resources used

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