Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Health Sciences


Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Cale A. Jacobs

Second Advisor

Dr. Carl G. Mattacola


Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) is a bony hip condition that often results in tears to the acetabular labrum. Patients with FAI experience pain, decreased function, and quality of life. FAI and its’ sequela are treated definitively with hip arthroscopy. Hip arthroscopy is being performed with increasing frequency, and while most patients respond favorably, a subset of 10-20% of patients have suboptimal outcomes.

Previous research suggests that mental status may be a primary driver in the way patients with FAI respond to and feel pain. Measures of mental status include the presence of mood disorders and psychosocial patient reported outcomes (PROs). Psychosocial constructs that have yet to be examined in patients with FAI include self-efficacy, kinesophobia, and pain catastrophizing. The Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ) gauges an individual’s confidence, or self-efficacy, in their ability to complete tasks despite their current pain. Previous research has established that a patient’s self-efficacy is an important determinant of long-term success following orthopedic surgery. Kinesophobia, measured via the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK), is a measure of movement-related fear. In contrast to self-efficacy, fear of movement has been identified as a predictor of early success following orthopedic surgery. Lastly, pain catastrophizing is a set of maladaptive behaviors including ruminating on pain, feeling helpless to overcome painful situations, and magnifying the circumstances surrounding the painful experience. Catastrophizing behaviors, measured via the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), have been repeatedly linked to increased pain and decreased functionality in a variety of orthopedic populations. To date, the relationship between these psychosocial variables and pain has not been examined in patients with FAI.

The primary aim of this dissertation was to evaluate the role of psychosocial factors on pre and postoperative pain in patients with FAI undergoing hip arthroscopy. To accomplish this aim we performed a series of three studies. The first study was a retrospective chart review to determine the prevalence of mental health disorders and compare preoperative clinical presentation between patients with and without mental health disorders. The second was a cross-sectional study designed to determine if any psychosocial variables could predict preoperative hip pain. The final study utilized a longitudinal, cohort design. Patients were tested preoperatively and at 12-weeks postoperative. The primary outcomes measured were self-efficacy, kinesiophobia, pain catastrophizing, and hip pain at rest and during activity measured via a visual analog scale (VAS). The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of preoperative psychosocial variables on postoperative pain, and to determine if these variables were predictive of persistent postoperative pain three months following hip arthroscopy.

Based on the results from these studies we can conclude the following: 1) Mental health disorders are more common in patients with FAI than other orthopedic populations, and self-reported pain and function are worse in this subset of patients, but neither symptom chronicity nor the severity of joint deformity differs; 2) Low self-efficacy is predictive of worse preoperative pain in patients with FAI; and 3) Patients with high preoperative pain catastrophizing or low self-efficacy are more likely to have increased postoperative pain. Low preoperative self-efficacy is predictive of persistent hip pain during activity three months following hip arthroscopy, while low self-efficacy and mental health disorders are predictive of persistent hip pain at rest. Future studies are necessary to develop and implement interventions targeting low self-efficacy and elevated catastrophizing in patients undergoing hip arthroscopy to improve patient outcomes for this high-risk group.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)