Scripps Health on growing number of youth hip injuries and latest treatments

For many people, the term “hip injury” conjures up images of a senior citizen with little mobility, often due to arthritis or a fracture. But times are changing.

A different sort of hip condition – called hip impingement, in which the hip’s ball and socket rub together – is affecting a younger, athletic population in growing numbers.

Lauren Phinney interviewed Dr. Brian Rebolledo from Scripps Health about this new hip condition and discussed the latest treatments for hip injuries.

Traditionally, active patients with hip impingement faced limited options. But now, results from a clinical trial published this summer in the medical journal The Lancet shows that a newer treatment approach – arthroscopic hip surgery, or “hip arthroscopy” – is an effective way to treat the problem.

“There is still relatively low awareness about hip impingement, so it is often misdiagnosed as a groin pull or muscle strain,” said Dr. Brian Rebolledo, an orthopedic surgeon in sports medicine at Scripps Clinic, who previously served as an assistant team physician with the San Francisco 49ers during his fellowship at Stanford University.

Not only is the pain of hip impingement enough to sideline athletes, but if left untreated it can also lead to more serious problems like cartilage and labrum damage later in life. That’s why it’s important to get the word out, especially in a city with so many active people as San Diego.

Recently, hip arthroscopy has grown to become the fastest-growing procedure in all of sports medicine. There has been a 25-fold increase in hip arthroscopy procedures during roughly the last decade, and outcomes data show excellent clinical results.

Hip arthroscopy involves the use of tiny cameras and surgical instruments, inserted through small “poke-hole” incisions, allowing doctors to diagnose and treat the condition in a single procedure, with the patient going home the same day.

This type of arthroscopic approach has been used with knees, shoulders and ankles — but only more recently has it been adopted with hips, due to the advent better instruments and surgical techniques.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Health