Lexie had a promising swimming career on the horizon after receiving a full ride scholarship to University of Illinois – Chicago, but at the end of her college freshman year she began having a sharp pain in her hip. Lexie needed an option that would allow her to be back in the water and competing as soon as possible.
This led to orthopedic hip surgeon Dr. Geoffrey Van Thiel as Lexie’s mom recalls;
“Once I had his name, I went online and did some research into Dr. Van Thiel. I wanted to know what kind of experience he had, where he went to college, what other patients had to say about him. We were very interested in him because of his experience with athletes. Once we met with Dr. Van Thiel, there was no doubt we were going to go with him. He explained all of our options, was very thorough, answered all of our questions, and all of us liked him a lot. Most importantly, Lexie liked him a lot and was very comfortable with him.”
Hip Labral Tear
Unfortunately, Lexie had a labral tear in her hip. Labral tears in the hip can occur after a single injury or more commonly after repetitive use in an active person. Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) can also lead to a labral tear when the femoral head (top of the leg bone) bumps against the rim of the cup. In fact, frequently femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and labral tears happen together. Many people will do well with treatment including physical therapy and anti-inflammatories. However, after initial therapy and other conservative treatments failed, Lexie decided to undergo hip arthroscopy with labral repair. Hip arthroscopy is an excellent treatment for patients with labral tears and femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) with an over 85% success rate.
After Hip Surgery
After her surgery, Lexie started physical therapy on day one. Staying active is important in the recovery phase. During her six months’ recuperation, Dr. Van Thiel worked closely with her physical therapist, trainers, and coaches to make sure she would be ready for swim season.
“Lexie’s success is as much a result of her commitment to recovery as it is to the surgery,” said Dr. Van Thiel. “She is a rock star patient and will continue to be a very successful swimmer on the collegiate level and beyond.”
The success of hip arthroscopy has many patients back to doing things they love.