Soft Tissue Problems of the Hip in Athletes

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SUMMARYThe hip joint is an intricate and complex mix of bone and soft tissues, which can make the diagnosis of hip injuries difficult and confusing. Athletic hip injuries are less common than injuries to other parts of the lower extremity. Hip problems, however, represent a significant risk for time-loss from sport secondary to the need for extensive rehabilitation before the athlete can return to full function. The most common soft tissue injuries of the hip joint are muscle strains and contusions. More specific and unique diagnoses include piriformis syndrome, snapping hip syndrome, bursitis, gluteus medius syndrome, and hip pointers. Identifying these problems with focused physical examinations can speed an athlete's safe return to sport. Most soft tissue problems about the hip can be treated conservatively if the specific diagnosis is targeted with focused rehabilitation techniques. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the problem and return the athlete to sport.

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