A common, painful hip condition in elite athletes may be able to be repaired with an improved surgical technique, according to researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland today.
"In our review of 21 male, elite athletes who had a hip pain and instability issues (hypoplastic or labrum tear), 81 percent returned to play at a similar level as before they were hurt, after receiving an arthroscopic reconstruction technique using an ipsilateral iliotibial band autograft," said research author, Marc J. Philippon, MD, of the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado.
Researchers followed 17 of the 21 patients who had an average age of 28, for more than 32 months. The professional athletes participated in soccer, hockey, football, skiing, baseball, basketball and ice skating. During this time all but two of the patients had improved clinical outcomes on various mobility indexes. Patient satisfaction was also increased.
Labral tears in the hip are often associated with a traumatic injury, such as dislocation, but researchers say they are increasingly seeing hip issues due to repetitive motions and underlying structural abnormalities.
"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 Philippon.