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Hip Pain in Young Adults

    Hip Pain in Young Adults

    Pain coming from the Hip joint can be felt in several locations.  Classically hip pain is in the groin or in the bikini line, but it can also be present in the side, buttock or down the front of the thigh to the level of the knee.  Typically, when pain radiates down the back of the thigh past the knee it is coming from the lower back.

    The Hip joint is a ball and socket joint between the femoral head or ball and the acetabulum or cup.  It is very important that the ball and cup are appropriately shaped for one another.  If the two are not perfectly matched, impingement between the ball and cup can occur with hip motion.  This is called FAI or Femoroacetabular Impingement.  Impingement in active individuals can ultimately lead to tearing of the labrum and cartilage of the hip.  This can be quite painful and patients ultimately have difficulty with long sitting, driving, walking, running and twisting activities.  Also, sometimes the hip can feel like it is catching and or popping.

    The labrum is a lip of cartilage that extends off of the cup.  Tearing of this produces pain within the joint.  It is important to note that the cartilage and the labrum run together, so often with a labral tear there is some element of cartilage injury or the beginning of arthritis in the joint.  If pain is significant and a patient’s activity is adversely affected, arthroscopic surgery is recommended to repair the labrum and cartilage and to reshape the ball and cup so that they fit better together. 

    To learn more about this, please go the Dr. White’s presentation on FAI and Labral tears…