Hip Arthroscopy in Young Athletes

Young Ballerina Jumping on white background

Many parents are surprised to learn that adolescents can experience hip disorders. There are, in fact, a number of disorders that can cause children pain during everyday activities and limit their ability to participate in sports.


In patients age 18 and under, we see conditions ranging from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to labral (cartilage) tears and tendinitis.

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is another condition that we see where extra bone grows along one or both of the bones that form the hip joint, the femoral head, or acetabulum. Because they do not fit together correctly, the bones rub against each other during movement, especially during hip flexion. Over time, this friction can damage the joint, even tearing the labrum, causing pain and limiting activity.

A hip labral tear affects up to 20% of athletes who report groin pain. It is more common among athletes whose sports and activities involve rotating and twisting leg motions, such as golf, soccer, ice hockey, ballet, and football.


Nonsurgical treatment is always considered first when treating hip pain — even labral tears. We work closely with our physical therapists to try and rehabilitate injured hips.

If surgical intervention is determined to be necessary for your child, hip arthroscopy surgery offers a minimally invasive approach to correct the underlying mechanical problem of the hip and repair labral tears. Hip arthroscopy is a complex procedure that requires specialized training. It is important to find a specialist who has experience performing hip arthroscopy on adolescents. Real-time X-rays, known as fluoroscopy, and custom surgical tools aid the surgeon.