Is Your Teen Suffering with Hip Pain?

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Running, jumping, playing soccer or being a member of the cheer squad, can all lead to fatigue or pain. But when do these symptoms become more serious?

Sydney Potkanowicz started experiencing hip pain at the early age of 12. “It felt like my hip joints were slipping in their sockets. It was a constant painful, uncomfortable feeling,” she says. Sydney’s mom thought it was growing pains, puberty, and an active lifestyle for her daughter’s aches.

By the time Potkanowicz started Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, the pain made playing sports unbearable. She gave up both basketball and softball. “I told people that I didn’t like those sports anymore, but the truth was that it hurt too much to run,” she says.

Have you noticed the following in your young athlete:

  • Decreased ability to participate in sports or recreational activities due to hip pain or fatigue
  • Increasing pain in the hip or groin
  • Decreased endurance
  • Hip joint catching or locking
  • A limp or change in the child’s gait (how they walk)
  • A difference in leg lengths

Symptoms vary from mild to severe. They are usually progressive and worsen over time. Mild cases of hip dysplasia may only require activity modification or rehab, but if surgery is needed, enter the Sky Ridge International Center for Hip Preservation. Potkanowicz saw the international hip experts at Sky Ridge Medical Center who determined a hip preservation surgery would get her back in the game.

Hip Preservation surgery or periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) is a subspecialty within orthopedics in which our nationally known surgeons perform a procedure designed specifically to preserve a patient’s natural hip joint, rather than undergoing a hip replacement. This procedure is aimed at either re-shaping the hip joint or repairing/replacing damaged tissues.

Sydney had successful PAO surgery at Sky Ridge and returned to the active lifestyle she was missing.

Saving the natural hip joint is often better than having a total hip replacement. For these reasons, whenever possible, we recommend that younger, more active patients consider procedures designed to preserve the hip joint, rather than replace it.

The Sky Ridge International Center for Hip Preservation is part of the Sky Ridge Spine & Total Joint Center, a Joint Commission Center of Excellence for hip, knee, and spine surgery.

For more information, call us at 720-225-HIPS or visit

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