Hip pain in young adults (16-50 years of age) is a very common condition in sports-active individuals. Any persistent hip pain in young adults is not normal and should be evaluated by a doctor.
Common causes of hip pain in young adults are labral tear, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI hip impingement), developmental dysplasia, AVN (avascular necrosis), early arthritis, muscle or tendon injuries, or trochanteric bursitis. FAI, or femoroacetabular impingement, is abnormal contact and friction between the ball (femur head) and socket (acetabulum) part of the hip joint. It is because of abnormal shape of either the ball or the socket or both.
It can present as pain in groin or side of the hip (trochanter area of hip) or buttock pain. The pain is usually described by patients as sharp catching or deep dull pain. The patients usually describe it by cupping their trochanter (prominent side bone of hip) between index finger and thumb. This pain can be initiated by activities like standing, walking or sitting for long periods of time, like a long car ride. Twisting, pivoting, turning on the affected side, exercising, dancing or sports activities can also aggravate the pain.
A diagnosis can be made by physical exam, X-rays and MRI of hip (arthrogram/regular MRI).
Early diagnosis and treatment is very important to prevent cartilage damage, joint deterioration and arthritis in future.
Non-surgical treatment involves targeted physical therapy and activity modification which may show some improvement in mild FAI (femoroacetabular impingement) patients or patients with trochanteric bursitis or milder type of muscular or tendon strain.
Surgical treatment involves arthroscopy and repair for labral tears, osteotomy for hip dysplasia, core decompressions for AVN, tendon repair, if torn, and replacement for patients with advanced arthritis.
Rehab and physical therapy after surgery is very important to return full strength and range of motion of the joint to return to preinjury level of sports activities.
Dr. Leon Popovitz and Dr. Michael Mizhiritsky, along with their team of best-in-class orthopedic physicians, are known for their exemplary orthopedic surgical skill and best-rated physical medicine and rehabilitation program. This, along with their top in-office physical therapy and long-term sports rehabilitation processes, leads to athletes of all levels returning to their top physical potential. Contact us today to schedule a consult!