Hidden hip dangers affecting more teenage girls

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by KING 5 HealthLink

KING5.com

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Eighteen-year-old Kathrin Johnson is recovering from hip surgery. Her hip started bothering her two years ago.

"My hip just felt tight all the time. It was really hard to sit cross-legged. When I was walking I felt pinching,” said Johnson.

Those symptoms occur because the ball and socket inside the hip joint are not smooth. That causes friction, which gets worse over time.

Lady Gaga needed surgery because of it. So did baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

Dr. Tom Ellis, who is studying the condition at Ohio State University, says while the problem can affect anyone of any age, it is occurring earlier and earlier.

"They're developing hip problems at an early age because of all the activities they're doing," said Dr. Ellis.

For Johnson, it may have been soccer, but all high school sports can worsen the condition. Physical therapist Robert Forster says girls may get it more than boys because of how they are built.

"The shape of the female pelvis is different and it has something to do with it,” said Forster. “The angle of the femur as it comes down to the pelvis."

Stretching can help before and after workouts and whenever pain occurs. So can strengthening exercises to build up the abdomen, the back and the muscles on both sides of the hip.

"So if you can make the hip and the pelvis work better through stretching and strengthening and being diligent with your exercise program, we can avoid a lot of these surgeries," said Forster.

While these exercises won't prevent the need for all surgery, they may help avoid some and delay others. The same program can speed recovery as it did with Johnson.

"I recovered very quickly and feel almost 100 percent,” she said.

These pains tend to come and go, so many teen girls ignore them and end up needing surgery later on.
 

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