Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

I am 17-years-old, in good shape, and play on a field hockey as well as a lacrosse team for my high school. Lately (well for a good six months now), I've been having weird hip pain that comes and goes. Seems to get worse or better depending on the position of the hip and what activity I'm involved in. I know I didn't injure myself -- at least, I don't remember anything like that. What could this be coming from?

Answer:

Unspecified hip pain with no known cause may have a clear diagnosis once you are examined. But without a more in-depth history, some clinical tests to see what's involved, and maybe some imaging studies, it's difficult to say what's going on. With involvement in two different sports activities, there could be microtrauma from repetitive actions. The hip joint itself could be affected but more likely the soft tissues around the hip (the hip capsule, other ligaments, labrum) are generating some discomfort. The best thing to do is seek professional medical help. Your primary care physician is a good place to start. A few simple tests and perhaps an X-ray may be all that's needed. Or your physician may refer you to an orthopedic or sports medicine physician. The specialist will conduct more specific tests and possibly order some additional imaging studies to inspect the hip anatomy. The presence of any deformities, tears, or other structural changes that might account for your symptoms will be noted. CT scans show any loose fragments of bone or cartilage inside the joint. Fractures of the acetabulum (hip socket) also show up on CT scans. Early examination and diagnosis is always advised. Waiting too long could make a simple problem more complex over time. Robert E. Boykin, MD, et al. Hip Instability. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. June 2011. Vol. 19. No. 6. Pp. 340-349.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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