With the NFL season in full swing now the prevalence of injuries during games and practice unfortunately become almost a daily occurrence with teams and players. The constant grind along with excessive impact that these players put on their bodies put them at more of a risk for potential injuries. Hip injuries in the past few seasons have come into the limelight with players like Brandon Marshall, Percy Harvin, Corey Wooten, and Ed Reed having to undergo surgical procedures to repair a torn hip labrum. So how does something like this happen and how do these athletes return to a high level of play?
The labrum in the hip is a strong piece of cartilage that sits on the outside rim of the hip socket. It acts as a sort of gasket for the hip joint and helps the hip to form a suction seal for stability. With a tear in the labrum the hip joint loses stability and in turn causes increased pain especially with rotational movements and during higher impact activities. Many times arthroscopic surgery, which involves sewing together and re-attaching the labrum to the acetabulum (socket) of the hip joint. This provides the athlete with the ability to perform higher-level activities like jumping and cutting with proper stability, and without pain.
Structured rehab and return to sport programs are imperative for athletes such as these to return to a high level of sport. In the case of Brandon Marshall after undergoing his arthroscopic procedure, in the 2010 season he caught 86 passes for 1,014 yards and followed that up in 2011 with 81 catches for 1,214 yards and six TDs. After undergoing another arthroscopic procedure on the hip in January of 2013 he put up tremendous numbers including setting single season Bears receiving records for 2013. Other players such as Percy Harvin were also involved in specialized rehab and return to sport programs to combat the years of wear and tear they have put on their bodies. As a rehab professional it would be irresponsible to return a worker back to work before making sure that they could do their full job duties, so why is it different for returning to high level sport? It is necessary for us to provide this high level of return to sport rehab so that the athlete returns to sport safely and efficiently.
Imagine driving a car that can only run in first and second gear. You are able to start, but if you want any power and speed you can’t have it. A torn labrum inhibits that athlete from switching into third and fourth gear. Involvement in a structured rehab and return to sport program tunes the athlete’s engine so that it performs at its maximum ability. At Accelerated Physical Therapy we have a team of trained hip specialists that are able to screen athletes for potential hip problems, and provide that primary rehab and return to sport rehab in order for them to return to their high level of sport.
Please provide your thoughts on hip labral injuries, and how you feel a structured return to sport program is essential for these athletes.