January 25, 2018

Hip pain is common in young, active people. In many circumstances it represents a muscular injury that will resolve on its own.  When the pain does not improve despite rest and anti-inflamitory medication damage to the labrum, the cartilage gasket that seals the ball and socket joint may be present. This pain can be a nuisance and restrict activity, but it can also signify the potential for significant problems to develop down the road.

“Labral injuries of the hip occur for a number of reasons, but most commonly it is due to pinching between the ball and socket of the hip and is called femoroacetabular impingement,” said Dr. Trevor Gaskill of the Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center. “When this pinching happens frequently enough, the labrum tears and creates hip pain.  If  untreated, it may eventually result in cartilage damage and arthritis.”

Fortunately, doctors at the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center are proficient in using arthroscopy to treat athletic hip pain. Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique that involves using small punctures to insert cameras and surgical instruments into the joint to repair labrum tears and reshape bone in an effort prevent it from tearing again..

“It’s something that’s not commonly done in this region, because there just aren’t many doctors trained to do it,” said Dr. Gaskill. “Between athletes and the young, active population we have here, we do a lot of it.”

According to Dr. Gaskill, the procedure can make a big difference in pain and functionality in the hip, and could help preserve the joint and reduce the chances that a patient might require a hip replacement later in life.

“We don’t have 30-year data yet to prove that we can prevent a hip replacement, but if you stick a square peg in a round hole too many times, it will damage the cartilage,” Dr. Gaskill said. “That’s what we’re ultimately trying to prevent, is the cartilage damage.”

Arthroscopy has many other diagnostic and treatment applications, in the hip and elsewhere in the body. According to Dr. Gaskill, injuries of the hip are not limited to young, active people. Anyone who puts stress on their hip in a repetitive motion through activities they participate in or jobs that they do may be at risk.

“Maintaining a good, active core and good flexibility can help with this,” Dr. Gaskill said. “But ultimately it’s those types of repetitive activities over and over again that create problems.”

If you are experiencing stiffness and pain in your hips, or any other symptoms of pain or discomfort, OSMC can help. Click here to request a consultation with our doctors.