When hip pain stops you from doing what you enjoy, it’s time to find a treatment that helps you regain function and get back to life.

At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, we focus on hip preservation. This includes working to prevent premature wear and tear of the hip and helping patients attain pain-free, functional hip use throughout their adult life. Our Division of Hip Preservation specializes in treatments for an extensive range of hip conditions, including:
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI): an underlying structural abnormality in the hip joint formation of the ball or socket that results in soft tissue getting trapped between bones
  • Hip labral tears: tears in the cartilage located on the rim of your hip joint socket
  • Hip dysplasia: misaligned hip socket or misshapen hip joint
  • Trochanteric bursitis: inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs at outer aspect of the hip joint
  • Lateral snapping hip: constant popping in the outer hip when walking, getting up from a seated position or swinging your leg
  • Hip arthritis in the young and active patient: often the post-traumatic result of an injury to a joint
  • Osteonecrosis: a disease that results in reduced blood flow to bones in the joints and inability for the body to make new bone to replace broken down bone

Symptoms of hip injuries or conditions

  • Inflammation
  • Stiffness or limitation of activity
  • Pain during and after activity
  • Pain in the hip and groin area provoked by motion
  • Pressure or tightness
  • Locking or catching sensation in your hip joint

Diagnosis of hip injuries

Athletes and active individuals may describe pain differently because of the variety of ranges of motion and muscle forces each may use. We want to understand where you’ve been with your condition, what you’ve done to manage it, what your limitations are and the affect your condition has on the quality of your everyday life. Our initial patient evaluation starts with a detailed history, review of prior treatment records and physical examination. During the evaluation of your hip, diverse maneuvers and arcs of motion are performed to better gauge the symptomatic areas. X-rays and advanced imaging of the hip, including CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, are used to detect structural abnormalities, labral tears and other cartilage damage.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Nonsurgical treatments for injuries of the hip

Nonsurgical treatments for injuries of the hip

Ohio State’s Hip Preservation Program is about more than hip surgery; it’s about total care of your hip joint. Our goal is to help you become pain-free while regaining physical strength and good range of motion. Your doctor and care team will create a personalized treatment plan that may include nonsurgical options to improve function, reduce friction or protect the hip joint from degeneration.

Injection Therapy

Your physician may use musculoskeletal ultrasound to create images of your hip joint and surrounding structures. Musculoskeletal ultrasound improves accuracy when treating you with steroid injections in the office, and it is used for deeper joints, joints with poor anatomic landmarks and joints with little to no joint space. This technique uses sound waves to create images of the joint and to identify the needle used to inject the joint helping the physician guide it to the affected area. This technique is done in the office and does not expose you to radiation.

Lifestyle Modification

Modifying behavior may also help alleviate some of the symptoms of hip pain related to osteoarthritis. Some options to consider include:
  • Applying heat to a stiff hip or a cold compress to swollen areas around the hip several times, at 15-minute intervals
  • Reducing or eliminating load-bearing activities
  • Considering dieting if being overweight is deemed the cause of excess pressure on your hips and knees
  • Working with your doctor to incorporate supplements that may help your condition, like chondroitin and Omega-3 fish oil
  • Using assistive devices

A Closer Look at Sports-Related Hip Issues

Hip Preservation

Dr. John Ryan shares how use ongoing research to continue to provide better outcomes for patients with hip pain.

Diagnosing Hip Pain

Dr. Kel Vasileff explains why hip joint issues often get misdiagnosed and how we help using a multimodality approach.

Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI)

Dr. John Ryan explains femoral acetabular impingement (FAI).

Hip Arthroscopy

Dr. Kel Vasileff explains how hip arthroscopy is different than hip replacement and what can be corrected using this type of approach.

Surgical Treatments

Surgical treatments for labral tears, FAI, and other hip conditions

Surgical treatments for labral tears, FAI, and other hip conditions

For hip conditions that have not improved with nonsurgical care, surgical intervention may be an option. Our hip preservation program utilizes minimally invasive treatments to help young and active adults resume an active lifestyle more quickly. Reshaping and repairing the hip joint restores the anatomy of the hip and gives patients the greatest chance of maintaining a healthy hip, with reduced pain and improved function.


Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a versatile surgical technique that involves entering the hip joint with an arthroscopic camera and instruments. It can be performed to repair hip labral tears and correct bony problems causing femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Anchors and sutures may be applied to stabilize torn or damaged labral tissue and microfracture may also be performed to repair areas of cartilage damage. Areas of bone impingement on the ball or socket are carefully removed with a high-speed burr to improve the mechanics of the joint. The procedure usually takes two to three hours and patients can typically return home on the day of surgery.

Patients use crutch assistance for about two to three weeks after surgery.

Direct Anterior Total Hip Replacement

For hip joints that have developed severe damage from arthritis and other conditions, such as AVN (avascular necrosis) or dysplasia, total hip replacement may be a good option to alleviate pain and restore function. This involves rebuilding the joint by placing a prosthetic socket in the acetabulum, or pelvic bone, and prosthetic stem in the femur, or thighbone. Direct anterior hip replacement accomplishes this by accessing the hip joint through the anterior, or front, aspect of the joint – rather than the side or back of the joint as in more traditional approaches. As a result, the anterior approach causes fewer traumas to the gluteal muscles. Potential benefits include shorter hospitalization and quicker return to activities after surgery.

Why Ohio State?

Why choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for treatment of sports-related hip injuries?

Diagnostic Expertise: Through collaborations with researchers in the Department of Radiology at the Wright Center of Innovation, Ohio State has developed advanced imaging techniques for the hip, including cartilage-imaging sequences. Preoperatively, our patients undergo a 3D CT scan of the hip joint, creating a picture of exactly what areas of the bone need to be corrected, allowing more precise surgical management.

Surgical Expertise: We are experts at reshaping, repairing and restoring the hip joint through such surgical techniques as hip arthroscopy and direct anterior total hip replacement. In fact, our fellowship-trained hip preservation specialist is one of just a handful of surgeons in the region offering this innovative treatment option.

Research: Our Hip Preservation Division maintains a clinical outcomes database to capture pre-surgical, surgical and post-surgical data points so we can understand patient recovery and improve the future of patient care.

Our doctors who treat hip sports injuries