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Hip Injuries in Teen Sports
Hip Injuries in Teen Sports

Considering the growth spurts teens experience and the intense activity athletics require of them, it’s not a surprise that hip injuries can occur among teen athletes. During the adolescent years, bones are growing at a faster rate than the muscles and tendons that surround them.¹ This can result in painful motion and instability in the hip joint. The ball-and-socket function of the hip can be negatively affected by the sudden twists and turns that sports involve, as well as the repetitive overuse of the joint.

Hip injuries in teen sports can occur due to a traumatic sports injury or chronic overuse during athletic competitions. Common sports-related injuries around the ball and socket can cause hip pain and instability:

  • Muscle Strain or Tear: a pulled or strained muscle around the hip
  • A Contusion: bruising of the hip (caused by blunt force delivered during contact sports)
  • Hip Bursitis: inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled sacs that provide cushioning between the bones, muscles, and tendons) causes hip pain. This is usually the result of high-impact pressure on the joint during sports that involve sudden stops or changes in direction.
  • Hip Labral Tear: injury to the tissue that provides stability to the ball and socket parts of the hip joint.
  • Hip Impingement: this happens when the ball of the hip pinches up against the socket of the hip. The cartilage surrounding the cup of the hip can be damaged when this happens, resulting in painful hip motion and injury.
  • Hip Dysplasia: this occurs when the socket of the hip doesn’t completely cover the ball of the hip. This creates hip instability and hip pain. Hip dysplasia is usually diagnosed at birth. However, symptoms of a milder case of hip dysplasia may not surface until adolescence. Dysplasia can damage the cartilage around the joint and cause a labral tear.
  • Hip Stress Fracture: small cracks in the upper part of the thigh bone, usually caused by repetitive sports such as long-distance running.

Proper conditioning and warm ups before any athletic activity enhances athletic performance and helps to prevent the above injuries.

As one of the most important joints in the body, hip injuries in teens need to be diagnosed and treated quickly. However, patients are often seen by more than three different health professionals before a hip injury, such as a torn labrum, is correctly diagnosed. Injured athletes should see a sports medicine specialist to receive an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible.

Dr. Bharam specializes in hip health and is a leading physician in arthroscopic hip treatments and innovative hip preservation treatments for young athletes.

Dr. Srino Bharam is a board-certified, fellowship-trained sports medicine orthopedic surgeon and professor of orthopedic surgery specializing in the treatment of athletic injuries of the hip and groin. Dr. Bharam has over 20 years of experience in treating injuries and conditions of the hip with the goal of restoring athletes and patients to an active lifestyle.



  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • International Society for Hip Arthroscopy
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Ambra Health