Quadriceps, hamstring and groin strains
- Overview: When a muscle is stretched beyond its capabilities or is not strong enough to counteract a load, muscle strains (or tears) may occur.
- Cause: Groin strains are often caused by a lateral movement, while hamstring (back of thigh) and quadriceps (front of thigh) strains may be caused by sudden stops or starts while running.
- Diagnosis and Treatment: Your physician will obtain a history of the injury in addition to performing a physical examine. Strength and flexibility testing and an MRI may also assist in diagnosing the injury. Most athletes will require rehabilitation in the form of ice and heat, as well as exercises to regain flexibility and strength levels.
- Overview: When the fluid-filled sac (bursa) at the outside of the hip becomes irritated or inflamed, it can cause trochanteric bursitis. Symptoms can include pain on the outside of the hip, thigh or buttock. The pain may worsen while lying on the affected side or during activities.
- Cause: Often trochanteric bursitis is caused by injury to the hip, overuse, incorrect posture, a previous surgery, or preexisting conditions. Athletes who repeatedly run, jump or squat are at risk of enduring trochanteric bursitis.
- Diagnosis and Treatment: Ultrasound, X-ray, MRI or CT scans may be required to diagnose trochanteric bursitis and the severity of the condition. Treatment involves rest from activity until the athlete is symptom free. Physical therapy will help the athlete regain flexibility and strength. Surgery may be required when other treatments do not help.
Hip labral tears
- Overview: The labrum is the ring of cartilage on the outside rim of the hip joint. It helps securely hold the ball at the top of the femur within the hip socket. Tears occur when the labrum separates from the socket. Many hip labral tears occur without symptoms, but some athletes may experience a locking or catching sensation in the hip joint, pain in the hip or groin or a limited range of motion.
- Cause: Those who participate in hockey, golf, football, soccer and ballet are at an especially high risk of developing hip labral tears. A preexisting condition may cause these tears as well.
- Diagnosis and Treatment: Your doctor will perform a physical exam by moving the leg in various positions, evaluation for pain and range of motion. Imaging scans, such as an X-ray or MRI may provide a better diagnosis. Treatments include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and surgery, if conservative treatments fail to relieve symptoms.
Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI)
- Overview: FAI occurs when bone spurs develop around the ball of the hip, causing the bones of the hip to fit imperfectly and rub against each other. The joint then becomes damaged, potentially tearing the labrum and resulting in osteoarthritis.
- Cause: Patients with FAI were typically born with the condition, causing the hipbones to not form properly during childhood. Athletes with FAI may experience the symptoms sooner as they are working the hip joint more forcefully, but FAI is not caused by exercise itself.
- Diagnosis and Treatment: FAI is diagnosed by a physician examination. Your doctor may perform an impingement test, where he or she will bring the patient’s knee up towards the chest and then rotate it inward. If this causes pain, impingement is likely the root of the problem. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans will help diagnose the condition as well. Treatment can be as simple as changing your activity routine, but FAI sometimes requires arthroscopic surgery to repair and clean out any damage to the labrum and cartilage.