HIP

Men's Health (Singapore) - - HEALTH -

[TYPE OF JOINT: BALL-and-SOCKET]

Hips have half the mo­bil­ity of shoul­ders but a much deeper socket, which makes the joint highly sta­ble—es­sen­tial for bear­ing weight, walk­ing, run­ning, jump­ing, and drunk danc­ing at wed­dings.

TOP THREAT: HIP LABRAL TEAR

WHAT IT IS:

An in­jury of the hip labrum, a gas­ket-like car­ti­lage ring at the rim of the hip socket that helps hold the ball of the thigh­bone in place and seals in fluid. Be­sides caus­ing pain, labral tears raise the risk of hip os­teoarthri­tis.

CAUSE:

Usu­ally repet­i­tive mo­tion, such as from long-dis­tance cy­cling, or col­li­sions in sports. “We see it a lot in cut­ting sports like soc­cer and hockey,” Dr. Comeau says. Ten­nis play­ers are also prone to hip trou­ble. For­mer top-ranked pro Andy Mur­ray fi­nally had surgery in Jan­uary to ease hip is­sues that had plagued him for years. Ab­nor­mal hip anatomy can also con­tribute.

TREAT­MENT:

Phys­i­cal ther­apy can help iden­tify and com­pen­sate for quirks in your gait or anatomy that may stress the hip, and stretch and strengthen hip­sup­port­ing mus­cles. If these ap­proaches don’t work, a sur­geon can use an arthro­scope to trim frayed car­ti­lage and reat­tach the labrum to the socket.

DE­FENSE:

Vary your sports and work­outs from day to day to avoid stress­ing the hip in the same way and to help joints re­cover.

FU­TURE-PROOF YOUR HIPS:

A pre­vi­ous hip in­jury or nor­mal ag­ing can erode the ar­tic­u­lar car­ti­lage that lines the hip’s ball and socket and lead to os­teoarthri­tis. As car­ti­lage di­min­ishes and the space be­tween the bones closes, dam­aged bones may grow out and form spurs that can add to pain and limit move­ment. To keep your hips young, do bridges, planks, and lunges to strengthen your glu­teus, lower back, and hipflexor mus­cles, which sup­port and sta­bi­lize the hips. Don’t do lunges while hold­ing weights, though, to avoid un­due stress.

WATCH OUT!

Me­tal-on-me­tal im­plants haven’t worked out as well as ex­pected. The bal­land-socket combo promised to be ex­cep­tion­ally durable, but the FDA warns that they carry “unique risks,” in­clud­ing the re­lease of me­tal par­ti­cles that may dam­age sur­round­ing bone and/or tis­sue. Con­sider al­ter­na­tive bear­ing sur­faces such as ce­ramic on cross-linked poly­eth­yl­ene in­stead.

BALL-AND-SOCKET The rounded, ball-like end of one bone fits into the con­cave sur­face of an­other. The de­sign of­fers su­pe­rior range of mo­tion, but sta­bil­ity can vary—high in a deep socket, low in a shal­low one. Sur­round­ing ten­dons and lig­a­ments help keep bones in place.

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