When Mahmoud Almasri, M.D., was a 16-year-old soccer player, he experienced chronic pain that felt like a pulled groin muscle. X-rays revealed nothing, so his doctors blamed genetics and told him nothing could be done.
His experience isn’t uncommon. “I knew that didn’t make sense and that something was wrong with my hip,” Dr. Almasri says.
Ten years later as an orthopedic surgery resident, he began learning about hip impingement. A hip impingement, formally known as femoro acetabular impingement or FAI, is when a problem with the ball or socket rim interferes with the motion of the hip.
“I suspected hip impingement affected a large portion of the population but was frequently underdiagnosed,” Dr. Almasri says. “I love getting athletes and weekend warriors back to what they want to do.”
Minimally Invasive Procedures
Dr. Almasri now works as a sports medicine specialist at Mercy Health, focusing on hip preservation and arthroscopy. Arthroscopy involves using keyhole incisions to delicately insert a camera into a patient’s hip to diagnose and treat the problem related to impingement or instability of the hip. This minimally-invasive procedure enables doctors to repair the labrum or cartilage and simultaneously perform corrective surgery for bony impingements or excess bone.
“The hip is the center of the body where the trunk intersects with the spine,” Dr. Almasri says. “If it doesn’t rotate appropriately due to poor mechanics or bone impingement, it can make you have pain elsewhere.” Pain could be in the back, groin or knee, and it could cause a tight core and bad shoulders.
The goal of hip arthroscopy is threefold: to eliminate the pain, improve the patient’s quality of life, and prevent further cartilage degeneration or injury.
“Patients are delighted to hear we have this surgery which could either delay hip replacement or may help them avoid it,” Dr. Almasri says.
Patients usually feel good within six to 12 weeks and could return to work within one or two months. Research says that athletes return to play 87% of the time.
What’s attractive about a hip scope is the less invasive nature of the surgery and the preservation of the native muscle and tissue that allows the patient to regain movement and strength faster than a hip replacement.
“In the event that outcomes are suboptimal, one can always move forward from a hip scope, but you can never go back from a hip replacement,” says Dr. Almasri, who is proud of Mercy Health’s hip preservation team, which includes an advanced physician assistant, hip rehabilitation specialists, injection specialists, pelvic floor therapy, hip radiology and a hip preservation research and education team.
“We’re providing a coordinated experience to patients with hip disorders — treating their problem while at the same time advancing the quality of the surgery and the research that we do both regionally and nationally in the United States,” Dr. Almasri says. “Our multidisciplinary approach provides the complete picture in treatment to our patients.”
Are you suffering from hip pain? Contact Dr. Almasri at one of his three Mercy Health locations in Kenwood, West Chester and Fairfield. Visit mercy.com/Cincinnati-orthopedics or call 513-347-9999 to schedule.