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X-Ray Vision: Arthroscopy's a Hip Surgery Indeed

New York Daily News—July 12, 2009

According to Dr. Bryan Kelly, a hip and sports medicine specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery and a team physician for the Giants:

"Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that allows the doctor to look inside the hip joint with a small camera and fix small tears in structures including the joint capsule, the labrum and the joint surface."

Hip arthroscopy has been effective for the treatment of numerous athletic injuries, including labral tears and the removal of bone spurs. In addition, hip arthroscopy can be used as a diagnostic tool to look inside the hip joint of patients with long-standing, unresolved hip joint pain that cannot be clearly visualized on other imaging tests.

Injuries to the labrum are the most common source of hip pain found during arthroscopy. The labrum is a relatively small tissue similar to the meniscus in the knee and the labrum in the shoulder. It surrounds the outer perimeter of the hip socket, known as the acetabulum, and forms a seal around the joint that helps to preserve joint mechanics. When the labrum tears, the torn fragment can get pinched between the ball of the hip joint (the femoral head) and the socket (the acetabulum).

The diagnosis of a labral tear is similar to those patients with a meniscus tear in the knee. The athlete describes pain in the groin, particularly with twisting maneuvers. Often there will be a sense of catching or locking within the joint as the torn tissue gets caught in the joint. Frequently the athlete will misinterpret the pain as a chronic groin strain or injury. If these "groin pulls" don’t respond effectively to more traditional treatments such as rest and ice, then there may be a labral tear within the joint and further evaluation should be performed. Hip arthroscopy may be appropriate to either remove or repair the torn tissue in athletes who have persistent hip pain for greater than six to eight weeks.

This story originally appeared at nydailynews.com.


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