UAB program aims to prevent hip disorders

New techniques and understanding of hip disorders are leading to new ways to prevent or treat hip deterioration.
Written by Emma Shepard
Media contact: Bob Shepard

Hip pain, computer artwork.New techniques and understanding of hip disorders are leading to new ways to prevent or treat hip deterioration.Many individuals experience degeneration in their hips. For some, it is due to athletic activity. For others, just the rigors of everyday life. 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 just beginning or long term, can now visit the newly launched University of Alabama at Birmingham Sports and Exercise Medicine Hip Preservation Program. The program seeks to prevent and treat hip deterioration by providing individuals with proper diagnosis and treatment.

Hip 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 previous 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 previously have 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 or anywhere in between, according to Aaron Casp, M.D., Sports Medicine Section orthopedic 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,” Casp said. “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 includes 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.