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Hip Injury, Disorders and Treatment

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the thigh bone (femur) to the pelvis. It is a vital joint that supports our weight and allows us to move freely. However, like any joint in the body, the hip joint is a complex structure that can be affected by repetitive motion, overuse, trauma, and other factors.

Long-distance runners, soccer players, hockey players, and ballet dancers perform movements that can cause hip labral tears, hip impingement, hip bursitis and other disorders in the hip. In addition, certain underlying health conditions and genetic factors, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause pain and discomfort in the hip.

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Common Causes of Hip Issues amongst Athletes

Hip Fracture

Hip fractures are also a common hip disorder, particularly in older athletes. These occur when the femur breaks near the hip joint and can cause severe pain and difficulty walking. In addition, bursitis, or inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the hip joint, can cause pain and discomfort.

Hip Labrum Tears

The labrum is a cartilage ring that lines the hip joint socket, and it helps stabilize the joint and provide cushioning between the bones. Hip labral tears occur when the labrum, a piece of cartilage that helps keep the femur in the socket, becomes damaged. This can cause pain, stiffness, and clicking or locking sensations in the hip. In addition, hip impingement occurs when the bones of the hip joint rub against each other, leading to pain and difficulty moving.

Hip Impingement

Hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), is a condition in which the bones of the hip joint rub against each other, causing pain and damage to the joint. In addition, hip impingement can cause increased wear and tear on the hip joint, leading to labral tears.

Many other hip disorders include hip dysplasia, avascular necrosis, and snapping hip syndrome. If you are experiencing any hip pain or discomfort, it is important to seek medical attention.

Common Symptoms of Hip Issues

  • Pain in the hip joint, groin, thigh or buttocks
  • Pain that radiates down the leg or into the knee
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the hip
  • Clicking, popping, or grinding sensations in the hip
  • Weakness or instability in the hip joint
  • Limping or difficulty walking or running
  • Swelling or tenderness around the hip joint
  • Pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest
  • Difficulty sitting or standing for prolonged periods
  • Difficulty performing athletic activities that require hip mobility, such as running, jumping, or kicking.
  • Difficulty putting on shoes and socks

Diagnosis & Treatment for Hip Disorders

Specific diagnostic tests doctors order will depend on the athlete’s symptoms and the suspected hip disorder. Typically, it begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination to assess the hip joint’s range of motion, strength, and stability. Additional diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI, and Arthroscopy may also be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for hip disorders usually involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. Conservative treatment options, such as rest, ice, and physical therapy, may be sufficient for mild tears, while more severe tears may require surgical repair or removal of the damaged tissue. Athletes should work closely with their healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan tailored to their specific injury and goals for returning to their sport.

It is important for athletes to seek medical attention if they experience hip pain or difficulty with sports activities, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage and improve outcomes. Book an appointment with Dr David Paul at +65 6734 8168.

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