Objective To explore the natural course of hip osteoarthritis (OA) in a population of first-time presenters with hip complaints. Methods Data were collected at baseline and after 2, 5, 8 and 10 years on participants from the Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee study with early symptomatic hip OA. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the natural course of the hip complaints with respect to clinical signs and symptoms, physical functioning and radiographic osteoarthritis (ROA) features. Results In total, 588 participants were included with hip complaints and 86% completed the 10-year follow-up. The 10-year follow-up showed that 12% (69 participants) underwent hip replacement (HR), an increase of ROA of the hip (Kellgren and Lawrence score≥2) from 19% to 49%, and an increase in clinical hip OA according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria from 27% to 43%. All Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index subscales and physical activity remained on average constant during the 10-year follow-up for those who did not undergo an HR. The use of pain medication increased from 43% at baseline to 50% after 10 years. Conclusion One out of nine participants with early hip problems received an HR during the 10-year follow-up. Prevalence of clinical hip OA and hip ROA increased steadily during the 10-year follow-up. Overall, we observed more hip OA, but fewer or stable complaints with respect to clinical signs and symptoms, and physical functioning. So it could be cautiously concluded that after 10 years, first-time presenters with hip complaints either received an HR or their symptoms remained stable.
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