Sports Medicine
Back and Hip Injuries

A patient receives a back exam.

Conditions Treated: Back and Hip

Femoral acetabular Impingement (FAI) is a condition where the bones of the hip are shaped irregularly and do not fit together well.

If untreated, over time this condition will cause pain in the hip and lower back due to the improper movement and bony overgrowth of the femur or hip.

Call your child’s doctor if constant pain persists, numbness, burning, tingling to the lower legs, or severe immediate loss of motion.

Up to 30% of athletes will have back pain at some point during their sporting careers. This is one of the most common areas of pain we see in the sports medicine clinic and on the sideline. The majority of back pain is not serious and goes away with little treatment.

When it is severe, limits what the athlete can do, or persists for more than a few weeks, a doctor with specialized training in back injuries should evaluate the athlete.

Spondylolysis (spon-dee-low-lye-sis) and Spondylolisthesis (spon-dee-low-lis-thee-sis) are stress fractures of the spine (vertebra bones). They are most common in low back (lumbar) vertebrae. These injures are more common in youth who play sports that involve bending backwards (back extension) like gymnastics, dance, football and wrestling.

Spondylolysis is a stress fracture to one or two spots of the vertebrae, whereas spondylolisthesis is a stress fracture to two spots in the vertebrae where the part of the spine shifts forward.

Failure to properly treat a spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis can lead to chronic back pain. Fortunately most of the cases of spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis will heal with rest and physical therapy. Rarely, your doctor will order a back brace to help with pain.

A sports hernia is a tear of the soft tissue in the lower abdomen or groin area. Unlike traditional hernias, a sports hernia does not necessarily mean that there is a hole in the abdominal wall. This injury occurs more often in sports with quick change of direction or twisting.

You can help prevent a sports hernia by stretching regularly and strengthening your abdominal and inner thigh muscles.

You should call the doctor for a sports hernia if your child experiences intense or persistent pain in the hip or groin, pain when twisting or sitting up, or pain that subsides with rest and returns with activity.

A stress fracture is an injury to a bone caused by repeated stress to that bone.

It is believed that most stress fractures are caused by too much stress applied too quickly for the bone to fully heal. With continued stress, the weakened bone may break (fracture). It is important to allow the stress fracture to fully heal before returning to activity.

To protect the injured bone, your doctor may place your child on crutches or use other tools, such as a walking boot, to help the stress fracture heal. Physical Therapy is also important in treating stress fractures.

If you think your child has a stress fracture, you should call the doctor. 

Learn more about stress fractures.