Hip arthroscopy returns college student to active, pain-free life

Diagnosis: Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI, or hip impingement)
Procedure: Bilateral hip arthroscopy


Madysen Bailey, femoroacetabular impingementMadysen Bailey, is a 22 year old student from Fayetteville, Arkansas. She has lived in Fayetteville her whole life. She had always been an active person – in high school, she participated on the high school swim team. One day, she started feeling severe hip pain.  Every day activities, like walking to class, became painful. To alleviate the hip pain, she was advised to walk with crutches. Eventually the pain became debilitating, and she consulted with two orthopedic specialists in Arkansas. She was diagnosed with a labral tear in her right hip secondary to femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). FAI is a condition in which extra bone grows along the hip joint giving bones an irregular shape. The bones end up not fitting together perfectly as they should, and rubbing against each other causing impingement and secondary damage to the hip.

Specialized care for young patients with hip disorders 

Madysen was referred to the Washington University Orthopedics Adolescent & Young Adult Hip Disorders Center. The center focuses exclusively on providing comprehensive, specialized care to adolescents and young adults with hip disorders, one of the most rapidly advancing subspecialties in orthopedics. It is led by directors Perry Schonecker, MD and John Clohisy, MD.  The center’s newest young adult hip expert is Cecilia Pascual-Garrido, MD. “After being referred by the office staff at Washington University, I looked up Dr. Pascual-Garrido’s credentials, and her previous work with different US Sports teams which spoke to her training and expertise in treating hip problems.  The staff at Washington University was very helpful and empathetic on the phone.” 

Pascual-Garrido explains, “Madysen presented in my clinic complaining of bilateral hip pain, more significant on the right hip. After performing a physical examination and evaluating imaging modalities we confirmed that Madysen was suffering from hip FAI. Since she is an active patient and has failed non-operative treatment, we decided to proceed with hip arthroscopy. This procedure is minimally invasive and consists in performing an arthroscopic surgery that allows us to get inside the joint and treat impingement and also repair the labrum. Patients are in a stationary bike the same night of surgery and back to hiking and long walks by 6 weeks. By three months most of the patient are back to normal life.” 

Madysen was treated with staged bilateral hip arthroscopy at Barnes-Jewish Hospital to reshape the parts of her bone and correct the impingement on each side of her hip.  “After my first surgery I felt pretty good and was able to be out of constant pain, however certain activities still bothered me. After my second hip surgery I felt great, the second recovery was so much easier and quicker, probably because I knew what to expect.”

Returning to an active, pain-free life 

After her recovery, Madysen no longer had hip pain. She returned to an active lifestyle and even began a couch to 5K program about ten weeks after her most recent surgery. “I have never been a strong runner, but I was determined to make something of my pain free life. I was a high school swimmer and had led a somewhat active lifestyle up until I began having hip pain. I was so surprised that I was able to run without pain. I continued my Couch to 5K program under supervision from my [physical therapist] and was able to run my first 5k a few months later on Thanksgiving!”

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