When an active person develops hip pain, but does not have severe symptoms or joint damage, the recommended treatment is physical therapy. Our physical therapist have have stellar reputation with hip impingement treatment plans to help decrease pain, improve movement, and avoid the progression of hip impingement and the need for surgery:
- Improving the strength of your hips and trunk. Strengthening of the hips and trunk can reduce abnormal forces on the already injured joint and help with strategies to compensate.
- Improving hip muscle flexibility and joint mobility. Stretching tight muscles can reduce abnormal forces that cause pain with motion. Joint mobilization may help ease pain from the hip joint; however, these treatments do not always help range of motion, especially if the shape of the bone at the hip joint has changed.
- Improving tolerance of daily activities. Your physical therapist can consider your job and recreational activities and offer advice regarding maintaining postures that are healthier for your hip and activity modification. Often this involves limiting the amount of bending at the hip to avoid further hip damage.
Surgery for hip impingement is performed with arthroscopy. This is a minimally invasive type of surgery, where the surgeon makes small incisions in the skin and inserts pencil-sized instruments into the joint to repair damage. The surgeon may perform 1 or several techniques during your procedure as needed. The surgeon may remove or reshape the bone on the pelvis or femur side of the joint, and repair or remove the damaged labrum or cartilage of the hip joint.
Postsurgical physical therapy varies based on the procedure performed. It may include:
- Ensuring your safety as you heal. Your physical therapist may recommend that you limit the amount of weight you put on the operated leg if there was a repair of the labrum. You may wear a brace to help limit the amount of bending at the hip. You might also use crutches to avoid overloading the leg if the bone on the femur was reshaped.
- Improving your range of motion, strength, and balance. Your physical therapist will guide you through safe range-of-motion, strengthening, and balance activities to improve your movement as quickly as possible while allowing the surgical site to heal properly.
- Instructions on returning to an active lifestyle. Most people return to normal daily activities about three months after surgery, and to high-level activities and sports four to six months after surgery. Your physical therapist will recommend a gradual return to activity based on your condition—research shows that 60% to 90% of athletes return to their previous playing ability depending on the surgical procedure performed and the sport.