Nagging Hip Pain Cured with Intricate Surgery

Man holding his hip in pain

“It’s like a pebble in your shoe or biting the inside of your lip - but all the time.”

That’s what a hip labral tear feels like, according to CHI Health Orthopedic Surgeon Paul Watson, MD.

Until recently, people with this sharp, nagging pain found a bit of relief from physical therapy or cortisone injections. Most learn to live with the constant discomfort.

“It’s a technically difficult surgery,” said Dr. Watson. “It’s the hardest one we do.”

The hip joint is deeper and more compact than the knee joint, which presents challenges. Dr. Watson navigates through six inches of muscle and tissue to get to the joint, and uses traction to pull on the leg and create space. Using laparoscopic tools under X-ray guidance, he delicately repairs the tear.

The two-hour outpatient procedure is followed by six weeks on crutches. It takes six months to totally recover. But the results are striking.

“I had a patient recently who had hip pain for 14 years before finally getting relief,” Dr. Watson said.

Paul A. Watson, MD

Sports Medicine,
Orthopedic Surgery