A group of investigators have observed postsurgery complications for hip arthroscopy are similar for patients treated in both HOPDs and ASCs. Further, there are low complication rates in both settings.1

Researchers examined CMS information from the Humana Claims Database, a national repository that contains medical and other data on millions of Americans. The advantage of studying a large database is researchers can find even rare adverse events. These investigators compared postoperative adverse events that occurred between 2007 and 2016 regarding hip arthroscopy procedures in both same-day surgery settings.

“We looked at all people who went through hip arthroplasty in the database,” says Aravind Athiviraham, MD, a study co-author and associate professor of orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation medicine at the University of Chicago. There were 1,012 hip arthroscopy procedures performed in ASCs and 2,809 performed in HOPDs during the study period.

Investigators reviewed 90-day data for complications that are reportable to CMS. They also reviewed 90-day readmissions, returns to the operating room, seven-day ED visits, and 90-day venous thromboembolism. Reportable complications included myocardial infarction, pneumonia, venous thromboembolism, sepsis, postoperative bleeding, wound infection, and septic arthritis.

Athiviraham and colleagues found ASCs recorded a 90-day, CMS-reportable complication rate of 2.17% vs. 2.95% for HOPDs. Return-to-operating room rates were even smaller (both settings less than 0.2%).

“We found that all of the things we looked at were comparable,” Athiviraham says. “It’s safe to say the procedure is safe in an ambulatory surgery center setting.” Hip arthroscopy is one of the fastest-growing fields in sports medicine, increasing steadily in same-day surgical settings since the 2000s, Athiviraham reports. “The procedure is done almost exclusively in outpatient settings,” he says. “Most practices want to know what you bring to the table. If you bring hip arthroscopy, it’s a very attractive thing.”

The study’s chief findings were that the procedure is safe in either same-day surgery setting. “The bottom line is [surgeons are] doing the right thing in infection control,” Athiviraham concludes.


  1. Qin C, Lee C, Ho S, et al. Complication rates following hip arthroscopy in the ambulatory surgical center. J Orthop 2019;20:28-31.