Ochiai specializes in hip arthroscopy and sports medicine at Nirschl Orthopaedic Center in Arlington and often consults with professional athletes regarding hip injuries.
Redskins Pro Bowl tackle Jammal Brown recently underwent arthroscopic hip surgery that will force him to miss significant playing time. How does that kind of injury occur?
Going by just publicly available information, he did have a hip arthroscopic procedure done in 2009 along with a sports hernia repair. It sounds like he reinjured his hip. A lot of sports, especially ones that involve twisting, change of direction, explosive dynamic force like football, basketball, soccer, hockey, they rely on the hip as they drive off and change direction.
Are injuries like his common?
These athletes are getting bigger, faster and stronger every generation. The amount of force they're inflicting and sustaining is increasing because of the evolution of the athlete with nutrition and training. The hips aren't evolving at the same rate. With the increases in collisions and quicker changes in directions, it's more likely that people are going to injure their hips.
What kind of recovery can he expect?
He can definitely come back. All the time, athletes come back from hip procedures. The question is, how long is it going to last? After he has had a couple surgeries, is that going to be as strong as it would have been if he had never had surgeries? It might be that he's further predisposed to injury because he's a really big, muscular guy whose going to extoll a lot on his hip.
How have the procedures improved to treat these injuries?
Ten, 15 years ago, doing a hip arthroscopy for any condition was considered radical. Now you're hearing about them all the time. We've also figured out why many athletes are hurting. ... [So] not only can we address the tear but the cause of the tear.
- Steve Contorno