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Thursday, April 16, 2009 - Newest Hip Labrum Repair
Lindsey Wheat knows practice makes perfect.A competitive dancer since her sixth birthday, Lindsey has spent more than her fair share of time rehearsing—step after step until they became second nature. “I normally dance six to 12 hours a week depending on the competition,” said the high school senior from Bogalusa, La.

Constantly repeating the dance moves resulted in stellar performances. But it also led to a torn labrum, causing pain, stiffness, a limited range of motion, and a clicking sensation in the 17-year-old’s right hip.

Preventing cartilage damage and arthritis

“In the hip, the labrum protects the cartilage,which allows the ball of the femur, or the main thighbone, to move smoothly in the cup of the acetabulum, the curved cavity on the side of the hip bone,” said Dr. Brett Cascio, an orthopedic surgeon.

With a torn hip labrum, there are typically two courses of action: Treat it conservatively—with rest, strengthening exercises, and cortisone injections—or treat it surgically. Since conservative measures weren’t enough to get Lindsey back on the dance floor, Dr. Cascio recommended a minimally invasive arthroscopic labrum repair to reattach the cartilage to the rim of the hip socket.

Long-Term Pain Relief

While labrum repair has become routine in treating shoulder and knee joints, the hip was previously inaccessible. “The hip is the hardest joint to scope, requiring new instrumentation and special positioning of the patient,” explained Dr. Cascio.

In the past, doctors would have removed the torn piece of labrum. However, Dr. Cascio noted,“Without the labrum, the unprotected cartilage can become damaged—and damaged cartilage leads to arthritis. When a hip labral tear is repaired, there are less arthritic changes and better long-term pain relief.

”Advancements in diagnostic tools, arthroscopic  instruments, and surgical procedures have led to a more detailed understanding of specific soft tissue lesions within joints, most notably hip labral tears.

What these medical advances mean to Lindsey? She’ll be able to return to dancing

For more information, call Orthopaedic Specialists at 337-494-4900.
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