“Bad Romance” with the Hip

Written by admin on March 1, 2013 – 8:22 am -

Musician and song writer Lady Gaga recently underwent hip surgery to repair a torn labrum. Many fans were concerned and dismayed as she canceled the rest of her current tour. Fans should not be overly disappointed. Hip arthroscopy has a relatively quick recovery and return to a high level of activity is a realistic goal.

Many are unaware that the hip joint has a labrum. As with the shoulder joint, the labrum of the hip is a type of cartilage that provides stability while allowing a high degree of flexibility, and motion of the hip. While labral injuries are much more common in the shoulder, they are being diagnosed with increasing frequency in the hip. A tear in the labrum can be degenerative– which occurs as a result of over-use, or traumatic–due to a sports injury, fall, or accident.

A tear in the labrum of the hip can be difficult to diagnose as it may not be evident on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Additionally, many symptoms characteristic of a labral tear of the hip, such as groin pain, clicking, snapping, and decreased range of motion, are also common in other hip conditions including groin strains or sports hernias. To further confound matters, even if an MRI demonstrates a labral tear, it is not necessarily an indication that the tear is the source of the symptoms. Confused yet? Never fear, at the conclusion of a methodical workup and rehabilitation program, the answer is usually clearly obvious. Conservative management of labral injuries is thus, not only an option, but often a necessary part of the diagnostic process. Failure of conservative management, physical therapy or steroid injection, may ultimately lead to surgical repair.

Arthroscopy of the hip involves small incisions and use of a tiny camera to locate the damaged labrum and either repair or remove the damaged tissue. Full recovery after arthroscopic intervention may take 12 weeks or longer depending on both the individual and the extent of the damage.
Recovery can be accelerated with skilled rehabilitation from properly trained individuals such as physical therapists and/or athletic trainers.

Fans of Lady Gaga should remain optimistic that she will return to the stage and “Just Dance” her way to “The Edge of Glory.” Many professional athletes have received similar surgeries, including Alex Rodriguez, Mario Lemieux, and Kurt Warner. Warner, a Super Champion, NFL quarterback, was able to return to full workouts two months after his hip arthroscopy.

Matt Rongstad is an Certified Athletic Trainer, Licensed in the state of NC. Matt is currently training in the GOSM Fellowship.

Dr. Galland is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in sports medicine practicing in Raleigh, NC. He serves as the team physician and orthopaedic consultant to the Carolina Mudcats, Cleveland Indians Single-A affiliate as well as many other local high schools and colleges.


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Posted in Arthroscopy, Hip, Sports Medicine | 1 Comment »