The Torn Hip Labrum Is the New “In” Surgery

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The Torn Hip Labrum Is the New “In” Surgery
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Forget about those old fashioned procedures such as Tommy John elbow surgery, torn MCL's and ACL's in the knees and the labrum surgeries in the throwing shoulders.

The new surgery appears to be the repairing of the labrum in the hips, an injury that has received severe media coverage since Alex Rodriguez had his labrum repaired in March.

At the time everyone thought Alex was just doing the surgery for the publicity, that he wanted to "Be Like Mike" (not Jordan) and was "Following the Chase," chomping at the bit to do what Mike Lowell of the Boston Red Sox and Chase Utley of the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies had done in the off season.

Alex probably figured in his own mind that if two prior World Series winners had the surgery after winning titles, maybe he can lead the Yankees to a title if he had the surgery BEFORE the new season.

It is similar to how Alex wanted to be like Derek Jeter when Jeter wore that brand of flashy designer jeans that Alex initially didn’t care for, and then Alex began wearing them because Derek did. That was one of the crazy A-Rod stories written in the Joe Torre/Tom Verducci book.

Of course, I just made that hip story up, but I am surprised there wasn't a piece written about that - since it was A-Rod involved.

While both Lowell and Utley (two heroes of the last two World Series winners) had that surgery in the off season, it was A-Rod who brought the injury to the masses.

Now, another major league hitter, third baseman Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals, will miss 10-12 weeks with the same labrum hip surgery

The Gordon surgery was performed by the "hip doctor to the stars" Dr. Marc Philippon, the same surgeon who performed the surgery on A-Rod.

What is going on with this type of injury?

Injuries do come in droves in the MLB. I remember about a decade ago when the pulled rib cage muscle was the injury de rigueur for hitters, and it seems that St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter wanted to revive that hurtful injury. At the time, many hitters were on the creatine muscle building kick, which dehydrated the body if the user did not drink tons of water, and I believe the dehydration led to those pulled rib cage injuries.

My speculation on the rash of torn hip labrum injuries is due to the tremendous amount of torque which hitters now have in their swing, trying to hit more home runs and boost their power numbers. Better power numbers get a player bigger dollars come contract time. 

No facts, just pure speculation on my part, but if bears watching to see how many power hitters come down with the same hip injuries.

Reports have A-Rod stepping up his baseball workouts in Tampa and he should be back before the original timetable of May 15th.

Both Lowell and Utley have progressed nicely from the full labrum surgery they had in the off-season, but remember that A-Rod had only "half" a surgery just so he could play this season. He plans to have the full surgery once the 2009 Yankee season is over.

Yankee fans hope his surgery is in mid-November rather than mid-October.

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