Objective: The purposes of this study were to measure the prevalence of clinical and radiographic hip osteoarthritis (OA) and first-time diagnosis of hip OA in consecutive patients presenting to chiropractic practices in Denmark and to report the components of the initial treatment rendered by the chiropractic practitioner.
Methods: A total of 2000 patient records and 1000 radiographs were reviewed retrospectively in 20 chiropractic clinics throughout Denmark. Information obtained included patients' primary complaint, physical examination and radiographic findings of hip OA, and treatment. Subsequently, the 20 clinics participated in a prospective survey where they collected equivalent information over a 2-week period.
Results: Retrospective review of records revealed that 1.4% of patients in Danish chiropractic practice had signs of clinical hip OA. Of these, 59% demonstrated radiographic signs of hip OA. Prospective data collection revealed that 3.4% of new patients had signs of clinical hip OA. Fifty-four percent of these demonstrated radiographic signs of hip OA, and of these 70% were diagnosed as having OA of the hip for the first time. Initial treatment involved manual treatment and advice on over-the-counter pain medication and/or supplements. Of all 1000 retrospectively reviewed radiographs in patients 40 years or older, 19.2% demonstrated radiographic signs of hip OA.
Conclusion: Osteoarthritis of the hip is diagnosed and managed in primary care chiropractic practice in Denmark; however, it is likely underdiagnosed. In those newly presenting to chiropractic practitioners, first-time diagnosis with clinical and radiographic signs of hip OA appears to be common.