Perhaps you hit the slopes in the winter and the trails in the summer. Or, maybe you’re a daily runner or biker. Whatever your activity, you enjoy moving through life, and we can assure you that your overall health is the better for it. That said, active people are more prone to injuries, especially in the major joints that provide mobility, such as your hips.
At Western Orthopaedics, the team recognizes that our more active clients may encounter more musculoskeletal issues, including hip injuries. To give you an idea of what to watch out for, our own hip expert, Dr. Brian White, pulled together a list of the five of the more common injuries among active people.
1. Hip Bursitis
Many of the joints in your body rely on tiny, fluid-filled sacs called bursae to provide cushioning and protection against friction, including your hips. When these sacs become inflamed due to overuse, bursitis can develop.
Hip bursitis typically causes pain on the outside point of your hip and the pain can travel down into your outer thigh. The discomfort can flare with activity, lying on your side, or sitting for long periods.
Surgery is rarely needed for hip bursitis, which responds well to more conseravtive treatments, such as anti-inflammatory measures and physical therapy.
2. Osteitis pubis
Your pelvis, or pubis, is divided into two halves, which are connected by cartilage called the pubic symphysis. With osteitis pubis, this cartilage becomes inflamed due to overstressing the muscles found on the front side of your hips. We see this type of injury in long-distance runners or in people who engage in activities that require a long stride.
In most cases, rest, physical therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications do the trick in helping to relieve the pain and inflammation.
3. Hip dislocation
Your hips are large ball-and-socket joints, and when you dislocate your hip, the ball (the femoral head) is forced out of the socket. This type of injury doesn’t occur often in the pursuit of sports as it takes a fair amount of force to dislocate your hip, such as when you fall.
We mention this injury because we live in Colorado, and hikers and snowsports enthusiasts are more prone to falls.
A hip dislocation is an emergency and requires prompt treatment to get the ball back into the socket.
4. Hip labral tear
The ball in your hip joint is held in the socket by your labrum, which is a thick piece of tissue that forms a seal around your socket.
With a hip labral tear, a piece of this tissue tears and pulls away from the rim of the socket, creating a loose piece of tissue that can get pinched inside the joint.
Dr. White is a hip labral tear specialist and has extensive experience with arthroscopic labral repairs.
5. Hip fractures
If you’re over the age of 65, your odds for a hip fracture increase dramatically. A majority of hip dislocations (95%) occur due to falling sideways. If you lead an active lifestyle, your chances of falling do increase, at any age, but falls when you’re older can have more serious consequences in terms of fractures.
If you incur a hip fracture, your treatment will depend upon the degree of the fracture, your age, and your goals.
The five hip injuries we list above aren’t the only ways you can injure these major joints when you’re active, but they represent the most common ones.
If your active lifestyle has led to a painful hip or you’d like to learn about ways to safeguard these large joints against injury, feel free to contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to learn more.