Over the last decade, the management of hip injuries has evolved substantially due to the advancement of techniques in arthroscopy and diagnostic tools such as magnetic resonance imaging. Arthroscopy of the hip remains a challenge due to the osseous and soft-tissue constraints of the hip. Currently, various hip lesions, including labral tears, loose bodies, femoroacetabular impingement, coxa saltans (snapping hip syndrome), ligamentum teres injuries, and capsular laxity, can be successfully treated arthroscopically. As continued improvements are made in surgical techniques and in specifically designed instrumentation for the hip, the indications for arthroscopy will continue to increase and arthroscopy of the hip will become a standard procedure performed by an increasing number of orthopaedic surgeons.
After reviewing this article, the reader should: (1) have a basic understanding of the intra-articular and extra-articular hip disorders that commonly occur in athletes; (2) be able to generate a differential diagnosis for hip pain; (3) have a basic understanding of the relevant anatomy, patient history, and physical examination findings for an athlete who presents with hip pain; and (4) be able to identify normal and abnormal findings on radiographic and magnetic resonance imaging studies.
History and Physical Examination
The differential diagnosis of hip pain in an athletic patient is quite broad (Table I). A complete history and physical examination are necessary in order to determine the source and cause of the pain. It is still common to ascribe hip pain in an athlete to a muscle strain or a soft-tissue contusion. However, hip pain may arise from a number of soft-tissue structures in and around the hip joint, and it is important to be able to differentiate extra-articular from intra-articular abnormalities. The physician should elicit information from the patient with regard to the specific location of the discomfort, the qualitative nature of the discomfort (such as catching, clicking, instability, …
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