SPRI Co-Chair Dr. Marc Philippon Comments on Success of Past 10 Years and the Future
VAIL, Colorado, March 12, 2018—A study of outcomes of patients undergoing hip arthroscopy over the past 10 years has produced results that have clearly generated smiles from Dr. Marc Philippon and his associates at The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute (SPRI).
Philippon is the Managing Partner of The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Co-Chairman of SPRI and one of the leading Orthopaedic Surgeons in the country. He regularly speaks at symposiums and conferences worldwide and has been recognized as one of the preeminent authorities on sports medicine/hip disorders and their treatment with hip arthroscopy. He has treated some of the world's most elite athletes as well as many "weekend warriors" and people who simply want to maintain a normal lifestyle free of pain that hinders their daily lives.
Philippon joined The Steadman Clinic team in 2005 and his hip arthroscopy procedures to treat FAI (femoroacetabular impingement) have been regularly chronicled by medical experts. His author's h-index is 45, one of the highest in the field. The hip arthroscopy procedure is done with an eye toward reducing future need for total hip arthroplasty (hip replacement). In June 2017, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, published results of a study detailing outcomes 10 years following hip arthroscopy for FAI. SPRI's investigation compared labral debridement with labral repair. Travis J. Menge, MD, Karen K. Briggs, MPH, Grant J. Dornan, MSc, Shannen C. McNamara, BS, and Dr. Marc Philippon headed up the study.
A total of 145 patients were followed over the 10-year period, split nearly equally between patients who underwent labral repair and those who underwent debridement.
Whether these patients were treated with debridement or repair, their functional outcomes and improvement in symptoms were excellent over the 10-year timeframe. However, as seen in other similar studies, the results in older patients with significant cartilage injury or radiographic joint space narrowing were inferior, and most of the patients with these characteristics ended up with a hip replacement.
The ultimate conclusion from the study: "Hip arthroscopy for FAI with labral debridement or repair" resulted in significant improvements in the patient-reported outcomes and satisfaction of patients who did not eventually require total hip replacement.
"It's a great feeling knowing that we're on the right track and what we are doing is helping our patients, and that our patients are happy with their results," said Philippon. "Editors of high-impact journals have validated our hip arthroscopy procedure. We're very proud here at the Institute—with our data collection and with the contributions from our patients agreeing to be part of our study—that we can share our success with the world."
Philippon is a strong believer in joint preservation over joint replacement if it can be successfully achieved.
"Joint preservation is the best solution in the right patient," said Philippon. "Hip degenerative disease is a continuum. Sometimes you will have an injury when you're 7, 8 or 9 years old or as a young adolescent. It may be a small injury but it sometimes will evolve over the years into progressive arthritis and unfortunately nothing else can be done but a joint replacement.
"But now with our early intervention program and our validated procedure with minimally invasive surgery with arthroscopy," added Philippon, "I think it will have an impact on minimizing the need for hip replacement."
The recently released study certainly seems to verify that last statement from Philippon.
What is the next step for Philippon and his associates as they strive for further improvements in treating degenerative hip issues? Much of the future involves the ongoing research in biologics and how regenerative medicine plays a role in joint preservation and replacement procedures.
"As we move forward," said Philippon, "we want to safely use stem cells, possibly PRP (platelet-rich plasma) in our treatment. We may be able to use nanotechnology to deliver a component to very specific areas of the joint that will enhance the healing and maintain the quality of our patients' tissue over a period of time.
"Anytime we can preserve, use and protect a patient's own tissue, we consider it a success," added Philippon. "And that goal can be accomplished through some of the groundbreaking research our doctors and scientists are doing here at SPRI."
The future in hip arthroscopy and other methods of treating hip issues follows the same goal that permeates the attitudes of the physicians, surgeons and researchers at The Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute.
"We are never totally satisfied with what we are doing and are always looking for new ways to improve," said Philippon. "Our primary goals are shortening the time for recovery and seeing less bleeding and less pain for the patient. With our work in medicine being both an art and a science, there is always room for improvement.
"My colleagues and I treat a lot of patients and we are always very critical of what we do," added Philippon. "We always want to do things better."
And the positive results from the recent 10-year study give Philippon and his fellow Steadman colleagues more inspiration to continue their search for that elusive perfect outcome for every patient.