New Surgical Technique Offers Hope for Hip Injuries
A common complaint for many elite athletes is hip issues, such as pain and instability (hypoplastic or labrum tear). Hypoplastic simply means incomplete or underdeveloped, and labral tears are often the result of a traumatic injury, such as dislocation. The labrum follows the outside rim of the socket of the hip joint, and acts like a socket to hold the ball at the top of your thighbone in place. Unfortunately, athletes who participate in sports such as hockey, soccer, football, golf, and ballet are more susceptible to developing a hip labral tear.1 These conditions be quite substantial to those who are affected, but now thanks to a new and improved surgery, athletes may be able to have it repaired to a "like new" condition.2
Research was performed on 21 male, elite athletes who had hip pain and instability issues. These athletes were professionals and participated in soccer, hockey, football, skiing, baseball, basketball, and ice skating. 17 of the 21 patients were followed for more than 32 months. Upon receiving an arthroscopic reconstruction technique, 81% of the participants returned to action at a level similar as before they were injured. All but two of the patients had shown improvement on various mobility indexes.3
"The proper function of the labrum in the hip is a critical component of mobility for any athlete. When this area gets hurt, repair can be difficult. Our review study highlights that a majority of athletes can return to a solid level of play utilizing the ipsilateral iliotibal band autograft and physical therapy. While additional research needs to be performed on the technique, we are hopeful that its increased use will allow more athletes the ability to return to the sports they love," said Marc J. Philippon, M.D., of the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado.4
The results of this study are promising - technological advances are allowing for conditions often considered difficult or impossible to repair to be reconstructed to a similar level as before the trauma incurred. Many athletes in various sports suffer hip injuries each year, and may never return to action at the same level as before. Fortunately, this new procedure gives new hope to those who suffer from various hip conditions.
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