Could Alex Rodriguez’s Arthroscopic Hip Surgery Been Avoided With Corrective Exercise?

Could Alex Rodriguez’s Arthroscopic hip surgery been avoided with an integrated assessment and corrective exercise?

That is the dollar$28 million question.

“The surgery went exactly as we planned,” said Marc Philippon, who performed the 80-minute procedure at Vail Valley Surgery Center in Colorado.

Philippon said Rodriguez will need a more extensive operation after the season, but said the three-time American League most valuable player will be ready for spring training in 2010.

Rodriguez suffered from a torn labrum, cartilage that lines the hip socket to stabilize and cushion the joint. Philippon said he found a small impingement in the cartilage.

What also caught my eye was this quote from Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira

“Any athlete knows injuries are part of the game. It’s not how you got injured, it’s how you respond. I think Alex is going to be great. It’s more important for him to be healthy during the stretch run and during our playoff push.”

This is probably a standard response when talking about an injured teammate, but to me it is critical to figure out what caused the tear in the labrum! If the cause is not discovered, than this symptom of hip dysfunction with return or rear it’s head elsewhere. This is an outdated paradigm. It is now the age of prevention not reaction! Truth be told, I am a Red Sox fan
and have no personal interest in seeing him return to the line up and tear up the American League East. Professionally however…I think there could be great deal learned about identifying dysfunction and movement impairments BEFORE they lead to injuries so significant that surgical intervention is warranted. That is what an integrated assessment and corrective exercise is all about. A-Rod is a physical specimen and puts his time in in the gym, steroids or not, he trains more than most. He looks great superficially, but do all his joints move like they should? The hip joint should rotate internally 45 degrees when one is lying on their back (supine) and their hip is flexed to 90 degrees.

If not…take another look at A-Rod taking a cut here…

…if his either hip joint is not internally rotating properly, then there will be a significant amount of pressure on the labrum and other structures. Most of the athletes that I check have significantly limited internal hip rotation and over time can lead to injuries just like A-Rods. Even my tennis players need to be aware of this!

So maybe someone should have checked to make sure that;

1) all his joints were moving correctly (flexibility and joint mobilization techniques can help with this)
2) his smaller muscles could control and protect the joints from the forces generated by the larger muscles (activation and isolated strengthening can help with this)
3) and that his nervous system was able to coordinate these factors together

Well that’s is the time I have for now…more on integrated assessments and corrective exercise another time.

Thanks for reading!

Eric Beard
Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist
Corrective Exercise Specialist

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