July 16, 2012

New Hip Technique Helping Athletes

( Ivanhoe Newswire) — They run, they push and they Win! But for many athletes competing this summer, the sport could leave them with serious injuries. Now, a common, painful hip condition in elite athletes may be able to be repaired with an improved surgical technique.

The labrum is a type of cartilage that surrounds the socket of ball-and-socket joints. Active athletes are at risk for labral tears because of the extremes of motion imposed by training and competition, but researchers are saying a new technique called arthroscopic reconstruction is changing the game.

"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," research author, Marc J. Philippon, MD, of the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado, was quoted as saying.

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.

"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," Dr. Philippon was quoted as saying.

While additional research needs to be performed on the technique, researchers are hopeful that its increased use will allow more athletes the ability to return to sports.

Source: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicinem, July 2012.