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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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Our 16-year-old son has reached his full growth potential so the orthopedic surgeon is going to reshape his hip now because of a femoral impingement problem. Of course, waiting this long also means he is very, very involved in sports of all kinds. Our question today is: how long will it be before he can go back to playing? He only has two years of high school left and we're concerned he might miss some scholarship opportunities.

Athletes are usually advised to expect a four to six month rehab period after surgery for femoroacetabular impingement. The timing depends somewhat on what the surgeon has to do, how extensive the surgery is, and the surgeon's preferences. Reshaping the femoral head and/or femoral neck is a technical challenge for the surgeon. There is a risk that the bone will fracture during the procedure. If all goes well and there are no complications with fractures or infections and blood clots, (the usual concerns after any surgery), the patient will be up and walking with crutches right away. Your son probably won't be allowed to put full weight on the leg while the bone is healing. Weight-bearing restrictions could last a month to six weeks. Full bone healing will take a full three months. During that time, the athlete must avoid high-impact or twisting activities. But the athlete doesn't have to be inactive. He will probably be working with a physical therapist to maintain good joint motion. Regaining normal muscle control, strength, and function begins about 12 weeks after surgery. The therapist will continue to advance the exercise program as the athlete progresses. Exercises and activities geared toward his specific sport's requirements are added toward the end of rehab until he is back to full participation. Again, the full scope of rehab and its timing depend somewhat on the surgeon, type of surgery performed, and patient's response to both the procedure and the rehab program. This should give you a general idea of what to expect.


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