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Common Hip Injuries

Learn more about recognizing and overcoming common hip injuries

Fortunately, the human hip joint is not prone to as many issues as smaller and more complex joints like the wrist or knee.  However, a growing number of athletes and active adults are suffering from common hip injuries.  Oftentimes the cause of pain is the result of acute trauma, such as a car accident, fall on ice, or sports related impact.  There is hope, though, since modern orthopaedic medicine is helping people overcome these common hip injuries and return to competitive sports or an active lifestyle.  Diagnosis and treatment of a joint should only be performed by a trained, board certified orthopaedic or sports medicine surgeon.

Muscle strains

The most common injury of the hip and groin area, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).  Eccentric contractions of the muscles around the hip joint are usually the culprit, causing pulled hamstrings and groins.  The good news is that many muscle strains can be treated with RICE—rest, ice, compression, and elevation.  For more severe strains, or if the pain does not go away after a week, seeing a sub-specialized sports medicine physician or orthopaedist can help determine the extent of the injury.  Physical therapy or an injection may be used, but surgical intervention for muscle strains is extremely rare.

Contusions (Hip Pointer)

The second most common sports-related injuries.  Also called a “muscle bruise,” a hip contusion is essentially crushed muscle fiber.  While rarely requiring surgery, hip contusions should be evaluated by a sports medicine specialist.  Athletes are generally advised to follow the RICE protocol—rest, ice, compression, elevation—for contusions.

Stress fractures

Stress fractures in the upper quartile of the femur (including the femoral head) are considered hip fractures.  These are relatively rare for a majority of the population, since in a healthy joint stress fractures primarily occur from severe acute trauma like a bad car wreck.  Many aging people find they are increasingly at risk as their bones become more brittle.  A common injury, such as a fall, can sometimes result in a hip stress fracture for aging joints.  Since stress fractures are more common in older joints, a hip replacement is often the best solution.  Depending on the severity of the fracture, Dr. Burleson may use one or more screws (percutaneous pinning) to hold the joint in place and promote healing.

Labral tears

These reference damage of the cartilage that protects the femur (ball) and acetabulum (socket).  The most common cause of this hip injury is overuse, but occasionally repetitive impact or an acute event can be at fault.  The best way to prevent a labral tear in the hip joint is to complete a strength and flexibility regimen to help the surrounding muscles avoid overloading the joint.  Once a tear in the labrum occurs, a sub-specialty orthopaedic hip doctor will make a recommendation of arthroscopic surgery or physical therapy.  A full recovery after a labral tear in the hip is common, and the right doctor can help patients achieve it remarkably fast.

For more information

If you are suffering from a hip injury, Dr. Drew Burleson would be happy to make an effective, personalized treatment recommendation for you.  Dr. Burleson will provide a thorough physical exam and a comprehensive review of your medical history to ensure you can overcome your hip injury and return to a pain free, active life.

He also uses diagnostic imaging, such as MRI and X-ray, to help ensure that your treatment will be as effective and efficient as possible.  Take the next step to address your hip injury and  schedule your appointment with Dr. Burleson at Beacon Orthopaedics.  You may also schedule by phone 24/7 at (513) 354-3700.