Pulled groin muscles can be a common experience for young, active people who play sports. Soccer, basketball, and hockey players are at particular risk for episodes of groin pain, but muscle pulls can be caused by the stress of repeated activities such as running, lifting or moving heavy objects, or even falling.
While most groin pain will resolve on its own, ongoing pain should signal a call to the doctor. ORA Orthopedics Sports Medicine Surgeon Dr. Andrew Bries says chronic pain could point to an underlying hip problem.
“Symptoms include deep pain in the groin that’s not getting better,” Dr. Bries says. “If you have a hard time getting out of low chairs, or going on long car rides, that’s cause for concern. If the pain is keeping you from performing your activities, it’s time to see a physician.”
Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows physicians to view the hip joint and make a more definitive diagnosis.
It also allows treatment for some hip conditions that are causing pain.
“Hip arthroscopy is appropriate for active people who do not have advanced hip arthritis, but who consistently experience deep pain in the groin that is not getting better on its own,” Dr. Bries says.
To perform the procedure, Dr. Bries inserts a camera into the joint to see what’s causing the pain.
“The hip is a very tight space where the ball fits snugly into socket,” he says. “To see and treat it, I must pull the hip out of its socket about one or two centimeters. I can repair labral tears, and reshape the hip so it moves better.”
Minimally invasive hip arthroscopy is not a new procedure, but traditionally was used primarily for diagnosis. The surgeon would insert a miniature camera to allow a detailed view of the area.
Today’s improved surgical instruments allow treatment of such hip conditions as tears or snapping hip.
“For decades, we’ve used the arthroscope to look into the body, but now we can actually fix tears and get around tight hip corners without injuring surrounding tissue,” Dr. Bries says.
Outpatient Hip Arthroscopy
Hip arthroscopy can be performed on an outpatient basis, thanks to effective anesthetics and nerve block technology.
“Patients are able to go home and get moving as soon as possible,” Dr. Bries says. “To resume high-level athletics, recovery is about 3-6 months.”