Drs. Momaya and CaspDrs. Momaya (left) and Casp (right), two key faculty leading the programMany individuals–whether through every-day life or athletic activity–experience degeneration in their hips. Due to repetitive use, fluid in the joints may decrease, and as a result, the cartilage may begin to rub together and wear away. Competitive athletes, or even weekend warriors, might notice hip deterioration as pinching hip pain or deep ache with activities like running, deep-flexion athletics, twisting, or other day-to-day activities.

Those with hip deterioration, whether onset or existing, can now visit the newly-launched UAB Sports and Exercise Medicine Hip Preservation Program. The program seeks to prevent and treat hip deterioration by providing individuals with hip pain proper diagnosis and treatment.

Patient with hip painHip specialists in the program can slow or reverse progression of degenerative changes in the hip and utilize minimally invasive techniques to treat many hip disorders. The program helps get patients back to their activity level and may even be able to help them avoid more invasive surgeries.

“As our understanding of hip conditions expands, newer techniques and approaches are allowing us to better diagnose and treat hip conditions that may not have previously been recognized,” said Amit Momaya, M.D., chief of the sports medicine section in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “These interventions can be life-changing, but require a specific skillset and training to be able to implement them effectively.”

As patients are increasingly staying active and participating in sports, there has been more demand for specialized hip treatment. The people in need of these services can be the recreational weekend runner, the elite professional athlete, and anywhere in between, according to Aaron Casp, M.D., sports medicine section orthopaedic surgeon and director of the newly-formed program.

“Through further understanding and continued improvements in hip preservation surgery, we are now able to intervene earlier and treat conditions such as hip impingement, labral tears, hip tendon tears, and hip dysplasia,” said Casp. “While some of these surgeries are not brand new, it takes a special group of medical staff and personnel to refine the care of this complex joint.”

The team at UAB’s Hip Preservation Program include orthopedic surgeons, primary care sports medicine physicians, radiologists, and other musculoskeletal health professionals, all with the focus of providing an innovative multidisciplinary approach to hip care for active patients suffering from hip pain.

Not every patient with hip pain requires surgery, so physicians like Momaya and Casp will use many non-surgical approaches such as injections, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy.

Call 205- 975-2663 to make an appointment with a hip specialist at UAB Sports and Exercise Medicine, the official sports medicine provider for UAB Athletics, Birmingham Legion FC, Birmingham Bulls Hockey, and Vulcans Rugby.