There is an article in the NY Times today about hip impingement surgery.
“It is one of the most popular operations in sports medicine. It comes in various forms, all with the same name: Hip impingement or bone shaving surgery. World-renowned athletes have had the operation — the Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez had it about two years ago and the sprinter Tyson Gay had it last summer.”
I first heard of this surgery when A-Rod of the Yankees had it and then soon after Carlos Delgado of the Mets had it as well. I remember wondering at the time how a surgery could just show up on the map; it turns out the procedure is about ten years old having been developed for athletes.
“Many surgeons are convinced the operation is necessary, even without high-quality evidence. Patients often have no idea there is a controversy and say the surgery took away what had been disabling pain. “I had no pain immediately after the surgery — none,” said Melissa Stephens, 37, of DeKalb, Ill. “It was like night and day.””
I am the survivor of three knee surgeries and while I know that my knees have no pain now and I have no regrets about having the surgeries, there might have been another way.
I believe in posture and the proper alignment of the pelvis. I think everyone tucks their pelvis under. To me, hip impingement problems, while very real, are the result of poor skeletal alignment. Especially with athletes who have highly developed muscles that are incredibly powerful and often very tight.
Is it worth it for an athlete who makes millions of dollars to create some space in their hip socket for increased performance. There is an argument to be made for that. For most others, I would spend as much time and energy as possible to avoid having a hip impingement surgery.