Basketball is a great sport and March Madness, with its dramatic upsets and uplifting narratives, makes the sport even greater. As one of the biggest sporting events in America begins to unfold this month, let’s look at some common hip injuries and treatments in basketball players.
- Hamstring strains: These are overuse injuries that can occur in any of the hip muscles and range from a mild overstretch to a torn hamstring muscle. Basketball players sometimes suffer from hamstring strains that occur with sudden explosive movements. Hamstring strains may result in bruising on the back of the thighs or difficulty walking.
- Hip flexor strains: This is also an overuse injury. Pain is felt in the crease where the thigh meets the pelvis.
- Hip bursitis: An injury that occurs when the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that allow the ends of bones in a joint to glide seamlessly past one another become inflamed. Hip bursitis can occur due to a single hard fall on the hip or due to an accumulation of minor stresses such as landing from a jump. Intense pain, limited range of movement, and aching pain in the thigh and buttocks are common symptoms.
- Hip labral tears: Occasionally, an injury will rip the ring of cartilage (hip labrum) around the hip socket. Symptoms of labral tears can include locking of the hip joint, noisy clicking and popping sounds, as well as pain within the joint and in front of the hip. They may arise when twisting vigorously on the basketball court.
- Hip impingement: Bony abnormalities cause impingement between the upper part of the thigh bone and the outside of the hip socket which can damage the hip labrum and cartilage.
Most hip injuries can be treated conservatively with the RICE protocol, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the injured area. For hip injuries not amenable to conservative therapy, hip arthroscopy can be used to accurately identify and treat the problem through tiny key-hole incisions. Advanced arthroscopic techniques can ensure you return to the basketball court with minimal delay.
Dr. Benjamin Domb is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine and Hip Arthroscopy. He is the Founder and Medical Director at American Hip Institute, is rated amongst the Top Doctors in the USA by the NY Times, US News & World Report, and Castle Connelly. The doctors at the American Hip Institute® have been global leaders in Hip Arthroscopy and Robotic Surgery for over a decade. While some would call this excellence, we simply call it the American Hip Institute standard.