Acute hip pain can derail even the most active athletes, and is often attributed to arthritis. However, hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement, can cause significant groin pain during everything from playing sports to daily tasks.
“The symptoms of impingement are most commonly pain the groin or front of the hip,” said Dr. Tim Greene, an orthopedic surgeon at ONS in Greenwich. “This pain generally increases with more activities. The more active you are the more pain seems to flair.”
Further, hip impingement tends to occur in active young adults, especially athletes. A painful and often unrecognized condition, impingement involves a tear in an athlete’s labrum. The problem can stem from various causes, including an imperfect shape of the ball and hip socket. This can pinch the hip labrum and cartilage causing damage with rotational movements of the hip.
“An MRI with contrast is one of our best tool at this point to diagnose injuries of the labrum cartilage,” said Greene.
However, due to the microscopic nature of some labrum tears, an arthroscopic procedure with a small camera may be needed for a complete diagnosis and repair. “We’ve developed tools that can be used inside the hip in a minimally invasive fashion, and able to treat labrum tears easily,” he said.
Prior to the minimally invasive procedures, hip impingement was treated with open surgery, resulting in a lengthy recovery time. Now, the condition can be corrected using a camera and a few small incisions. This allows for shorter recovery and a quicker return to sporting activities.
“We have learned over the course of time that you have to treat not only the symptoms that come from the labral tear but you have to treat the bony issues that cause the tear as well to reliably get an excellent outcome,” said Greene.
To learn more about hip impingement at ONS, watch Dr. Greene’s full video below or click here.