Diagnosis of Hip Instability
If a patient presents with symptoms of hip instability, Dr. Boykin will conduct a detailed history, physical examination, and X-rays to look for causes of hip instability in addition to other hip problems. Specific physical exam tests for hip instability include the dial test and the logroll test. A MRI may be ordered to assess the status of the articular cartilage, labrum, ligamentum teres, and surrounding ligaments and muscles. In the event that the damage to the hip is not severe, Dr. Boykin will usually recommend conservative, non-surgical treatment methods in order to treat the instability. A few of these treatments include rest, exercises to strengthen specific muscles to stabilize the hip, anti-inflammatory pain relievers, and ceasing activities which cause pain or instability. In the non-surgical management of this condition, physical therapy is of the utmost importance to properly strengthen the muscles of the core and leg and allow the best chance for recovery. In the event that these treatment methods are not found to be beneficial, or the initial injury itself will not respond to treatment methods, Dr. Boykin may begin to discuss surgical treatment alternatives with the patient.
Surgical Treatment for Hip Instability
If surgery is thought to be necessary for hip instability, Dr Boykin will typically perform an arthroscopic procedure with small incisions, a camera, and special instruments. The type of surgery will depend on the specific injury and cause of instability and varies with each patient. In many cases the labrum needs to be repaired or reconstructed, the femoroacetabular impingement has to be addressed, the capsule will be tightened, and the ligamentum teres may need to be tightened (or in severe cases reconstructed). These procedures will stabilize the hip, allow for more normal motion, and in most cases prevent future instability. In certain cases or patients where multiple injuries are present an open procedure may be needed to adequately stabilize the hip.
For more information on instability of the hip or to learn about other hip injuries, please contact the office of Dr. Robert Boykin, orthopedic hip surgeon serving patients in Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.