Mallika Marshall, MD BOSTON (WBZ)
The bones of aging baby boomers are beginning to break down and constant hip pain may signal the need for a hip replacement or resurfacing. However, an easier procedure can repair the tissue around the job and help ease the pain. It’s hard to believe 31-year-old Tanya Lallance has suffered with hip pain for years. “I had a lot of hip popping and a lot of joint pain,” she said. The pain was having an impact on her daily life. “(It was) keeping me from walking with my son, from walking with my husband, taking walks on the beach, going to the malls,” Lallance explained.
When other treatments failed, Lallance learned of a minimally invasive hip procedure called hip arthroscopy. Using tiny cameras surgeons go into the hip and relieve pain by repairing tissue and damaged areas around the hip socket. In some patients it can delay or even stop the need for a total hip replacement. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul Meli is one of a few surgeons in the country offering the procedure.
“A donut of cartilage that goes around the socket that we can fix. There’s a number of ligaments that attach the ball to the socket that can also be repaired and if there’s any free pieces of cartilage stuck in the hip we can also take care of that.” Meli said symptoms of hip problems my not be what you think. “The symptoms typically are groin pain,” Meli said. “People think the hip is on the outside part of the leg but actually it’s on the groin pain.”
Beyond pain relief the benefits of hip arthroscopy include smaller incisions, quicker recovery and longer lasting effects. “My pain is totally 100 percent went away after the procedure,” Lallance said. Surgery was followed by physical therapy and now Lallance is back on her feet and back on the move. There are several hospitals in Massachusetts currently offering this procedure to patients.