Sports enthusiast bounces back into action after keyhole hip surgery in Dubai


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Dubai: A 33-year old Dubai expatriate underwent a hip arthroscopy procedure recently at a Dubai hospital that has helped him not only get over a previous injury and hip surgery, but also help restore vigour in his sporting lifestyle.

Irish expatriate Thomas McNally had undergone a major hip surgery in Ireland back in 2019. Being an avid sports enthusiast, Thomas gradually returned to the football field and the golf course, but lacked the exuberance he once had.

Nagging hip injury

Despite a long open surgery, he continued to experience intense pain in his hip, which had an adverse impact on his day-to-day life, preventing him from sports activities. In the last week of February, he suffered a traumatic hip injury during a game, and reported to the Emergency Department of Adam Vital Hospital, Dubai.

Dr Ossama Abdallah, Consultant orthopaedic surgeon and hip and sports medicine specialist at the hospital, attended on McNally. After a thorough clinical examination and investigations, Dr Abdallah discovered that the old issues with the hip had recurred. “McNally had a labral tear and femoroacetabular impingement, a medical condition where there is abnormal contact between the ball and socket joint of the hip which is usually corrected through open surgery,” explained Dr Abdallah. However, he decided to correct the problem with an arthroscopic hip surgery at the Advanced Hip Arthroscopy Unit of the Adam Vital Hospital, Dubai.

What is hip arthroscopy?

Having performed more than 1,500 hip arthroscopy surgeries, Dr Abdallah, explained the nuances of the procedure. “Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to view the hip joint without making a large incision (cut) through the skin and other soft tissues. It can diagnose and treat a wide range of hip problems. It is usually conducted on an outpatient basis, where the patient returns home on the same day of the surgery. The surgery may take between 30 minutes to two hours.”

When is hip arthroscopy recommended?

Hip arthroscopy has been very effective for the treatment of numerous athletic injuries, including labral tears, the removal of bones spurs that result in a condition called “impingement,” injuries to the cartilage surfaces, hip instability, injuries to the hip ligament, snapping hip syndromes and the removal of loose bodies.

Advantages of Hip Arthroscopy over traditional Open Hip Surgery:
• Causes very little trauma to the joint, which minimises hip pain and scarring.
• Is an outpatient procedure where patients return home after the procedure.
• Typically has a short recovery period.
• May postpone the advancement of hip arthritis by treating its cause in the early stages.
• Can delay or eliminate the need for a hip replacement by preemptively treating conditions that cause osteoarthritis of the hip.

In addition, hip arthroscopy can be used as a diagnostic tool to look inside the hip joint of patients with long-standing, unresolved hip joint pain that cannot be clearly visualised on other imaging tests. Dr Abdallah further explained, “Arthroscopy is performed most commonly in the age group between 40-49 and statistics show it’s a little more common in men and among athletes whose sports and activities involve rotating and twisting leg motions, such as golf, soccer, ice hockey, ballet, and football.

Dr Abdallah further continued, “Athletes often subject their bodies to extreme forces; the hip joint may experience forces up to five times body weight during activities such as running, jumping, and twisting. Most sports players abuse their bodies and do not notice a sports injury unless it gives them intense symptoms that can affect their movements. I would advise all professional and amateur sports players to seek expert medical opinion immediately if they experience instability anywhere in the body.”

Patient speak

McNally, whose hip movement has been completely restored, told Gulf News, “I was constantly researching for reputable hip surgeons globally to get an appropriate diagnosis of my condition and have the doctor resolve my issue. Dr Abdallah not only compassionately explained the entire procedure to me prior to the surgery but also performed the rapid recovery keyhole Hip Arthroscopy surgery successfully. I feel very fortunate in the current climate to experience exceptional care right here in Dubai.”

Since the surgery, McNally has experienced a noticeable improvement in pain and functional restoration following the minimally invasive surgery. He was able to walk right after the surgery, and with the help of physiotherapy, he is already on the road to recovery and will soon be back to his sports activities again.


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