Saving the Hip

Hip pain in children, adolescence and young adulthood is often a prelude to early hip arthritis and the potential need for hip replacement.

Hip replacements at an early age (less then 40 years old) should be avoided if possible due to the need for revisions as the person ages.  At the New York Hip Center at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, Dr. David Feldman, Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, works alongside a team of world-renowned orthopaedic surgeons and other subspecialists to tailor the treatment to the correct diagnosis and patient.

Dr. Feldman and many of the faculty of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery have performed hundreds of hip preserving procedures such as the Pericacetabular Osteotomy (POA) for hip dysplasia for young patients from around the globe, both nationally and internationally.  Hip dysplasia is a very common cause of hip arthritis that often goes undiagnosed into adulthood.  The patient often presents with hip pain that worsens with activity and tends to worsen in severity over a period of years.  Diagnosed correctly as a shallow hip socket (acetabular dysplasia), the patient can undergo a POA often alleviating the pain.  This procedure helps also to protect the hip from further arthritis thereby delaying or eliminating the need for future hip replacement.

At times, the diagnosis in our young athletic population may be a torn labrum or hip impingement.  These can often be treated with less invasive procedures like hip arthroscopy.  Hip arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure that places a camera within the hip joint allowing torn structures or impinging bone to be repaired or removed.

When a hip relplacement is needed other members of the team use the most advanced techniques, such as anterior approach and resurfacings, and materials, such as ceramics and metals, to create a result with the least amount of recovery time and the greatest longevity of the new hip as possible.

In sum, every young person with hip pain should be evaluated and not just told to "live with it".  More often than not, with the correct management, one can live a normal life without the nuisance and debilitating effect of hip pain.