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Jade Owens shares her patient journey after playing collegiate basketball to pursue a career in healthcare

Comeback Stories - American Hip Institute & Orthopedic Specialists

Jade Owens
- Jade Owens

Jade Owens Story:

Did you know AHIRF has over 14 years of research supporting how arthroscopic techniques can help restore labral function and relieve pain in your hip? Labral repair and labral reconstruction techniques have been proven to restore the function of the native labrum and lend favorable outcomes in patients of all ages. I often think about my experience as a patient at a time when the field of hip preservation was widely unexplored; I feel a great sense of pride knowing that my research at the American Hip Institute Research Foundation is contributing to the advancement of medicine.

My own personal journey with a labral tear began junior year of my Division I basketball career after I experienced a sharp pain in my groin. For a long time after this initial injury, trainers and doctors thought that I had a groin strain and felt that rest would help me heal and eventually return to the court. However, I continued to have the same deep groin pain that increased with physical activity.

Forced to the sidelines, I lost my autonomy, mobility, and part of my identity. I no longer could play the sport that I loved, the sport that once define me. I began to let my injury affect my relationships. After months of searching for a diagnosis, we were able to figure out that it was actually a hip problem thanks to the research and expertise of Dr. Benjamin Domb at the American Hip Institute. As soon as Dr. Domb stepped into the exam room, he reviewed my imaging, examined my hip, and was able to explain why I was in so much pain; I had torn my labrum.

Jade OwensJade Owens

The hip labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the acetabular rim of the joint. The labrum functions in retaining a layer of pressurized intra-articular fluid for joint lubrication and load support/distribution. Its seal around the femoral head is further regarded as a contributing to hip stability through its suction effect. The labrum itself is also important in increasing contact area thereby reducing contact stress.

A torn labrum can cause a patient to experience deep, sharp pain in the groin area. Pain may radiate into the thigh or down the leg and may be dull or sharp. Clicking, catching, locking stiffness, feelings of instability, weakness and decreased performance are also symptoms of a labral tear. Personally, my pain manifested as a deep groin pain that did not allow me to make sport-specific movements such as cutting, running, and sliding; all of which are pivotal in the game of basketball.

Some underlying causes of labral tears include hip impingement, instability, and internal snapping hip. When the labrum tears, the hip’s suction seal is disrupted, and the joint loses its lubrication and stability. Labral repair, reconstruction, and/or augmentation are effective surgical techniques to restore the function of the hip labrum and get you back to the things you love..

I was able to return to basketball my final Division I season thanks to Dr. Domb’s expertise and surgical intervention. After two years out from the game I loved, when I returned to the court my final season, I appreciated every second of basketball I had left. Dr. Domb’s confidence, knowledge, and understanding of my physical and emotional condition empowered me to keep fighting and even led me to pursue this opportunity with Dr. Domb at the American Hip Institute as a Clinical Research Assistant after graduating from Creighton University. I am headed to medical school next year and hope to emulate the many physicians that have helped me along my journey.

– Jade Owens