At the start of the Major League Baseball season there were many question-marks above the head of Alex Rodriguez. The 40-year old star has been a controversial topic, having served a suspension penalty all of last season due to the possible taking of performance enhancing drugs. Not only that, he only played in 44 games during the 2013 season. Addressing why he was out for the 2013 season is something a little more important to me considering my profession. Being a sports doctor, I see a number of injuries on a regular basis and have performed many procedures. From knee arthroscopy to shoulder repair, going to a sports medicine doctor is important for any athlete experiencing discomfort to their body. Alex Rodriguez experienced this discomfort, having gotten a hip arthroscopy on January 16, 2013. A successful surgery, the 20 year veteran has turned heads by finding the fountain of youth, having played a stellar season thus far. He has brought a silence to the baseball writers, proving that with proper rest, and rehabilitation, it is possible to come back better than ever.
A hip arthroscopy is one of the more recent procedures done in sports. ACL and Tommy John surgeries are more of the common thread of procedures we hear about athletes suffering from each year. A “hip scope” might be the new household name where a newer technique of small incisions is used rather than one large incision. Popularized over the last decade, hip arthroscopy can make it easier for the doctor and give better results to the athlete. The most common surgeries to the hip are the femoral acetabular impingement, and labral repair. The repairing of the femoral involves the shaving down of the bone where the femoral neck (ball of the hip) pinches the socket. This type of injury will present itself as groin pain and can become worse with excessive physical activity.
For Alex Rodriguez, he had to repair his torn labrum. The labrum is the cartilage along the socket of the hip. Similar to having a knee arthroscopy, the torn cartilage in the knee is made up of the exact same cartilage in the hip. The labrum is essential for stability to the hip and can start with groin pain as well. This can be torn by twisting the body over time. When hitting a baseball, all of your power occurs within the lower body. For a top home run hitter like Rodriguez, showing a decrease in performance and less explosive movement becomes a problem.
During the procedure, cameras and small instruments are used in order to have a better look as to what is going on inside of the joint. The labrum is repaired by drilling anchors into the bone of the socket, and tying it back into place with the help of sutures.
With a recovery time of 4-6 months, it is wise that both athletes and non-athletes look into the procedure given the lengthy process. What can start out as groin pain can be something much worse. For more information, request a consultation today for a better tomorrow.