Femoroacetabular impingement, or simply hip impingement, is one of the most common conditions treated at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City. In patients with hip impingement, the bones of the hip are abnormally shaped, which causes them to rub against each other and damages the joint. In many cases, the pain that results from hip impingement can be avoided if patients strengthen their hip and are educated on the dangers of performing certain stretches.
Christine, one of our patients, was dealing with torn cartilage and bony changes in her right hip that were causing her pain, and she eventually decided to have surgery once the pain was too much. The type of surgery she had performed was an arthroscopic labral repair, where a small camera is inserted into the hip joint and then used to guide miniature surgical instruments to repair the damage in her right hip. After surgery, Christine was given a brace and crutches to get around, but continued to have hip pain and groin pain, and also experienced difficulty performing any weight-bearing activities for more than 10 minutes.
Dealing with these problems and unable to be physically active because of the pain, Christine came to us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy for help. She told us she wanted to return to independent weight training, as well as cycling and running, all of which she was involved in regularly before the surgery.
After evaluating Christine’s condition, we noticed a number of issues that needed to be addressed. She had a limited range of motion in her affected right hip that was particularly noticeable when bending the hip and rotating it inward. She also lost a fair amount of her hip strength and had less stability in her core muscles, which made it more difficult for her to perform a number of other movements involving her hip.
Based on her impairments, we created a treatment program that focused on rebuilding Christine’s hip strength and increasing its range of motion. We used a foam roller and manual therapy, in which the physical therapist performed a number of manipulations on the hip, to decrease the tone in soft tissue of the hip area. We also performed joint mobilizations that were intended to increase the mobility and rotation of Christine’s hip, and prescribed a number of exercises as well. These included exercises to improve the stability of her core muscles and flexibility of her hip, as well as strengthening exercises to build back up the strength of the muscles surrounding Christine’s hip.
Christine’s program lasted for approximately 12 weeks, and after completing it, she no longer complained of any pain or weakness in her hip. As for her goals, she was able to return to an independent gym program twice a week, now takes spinning classes once or twice a week, and even continues to do her rehab exercises as a warm up before her gym program.
Christine’s story shows that surgery may correct certain problems, but many people continue to have movement issues afterwards that can cause pain. With a program that strengthens muscles and improves range of motion, though, it’s very possible to get back to your previous level of participation. If you’ve been experiencing any pain of your own that’s getting in the way of your performance, Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City can help you, too. Call us at 212-317-8303 for more information or to schedule an appointment.