Advancements in Hip Replacement Surgery; Growth Plate Injuries in Young Athletes

Episode 17.10 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.new host image


Segment One(01:56): Dr. Richard Berger from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush talks about the growing number of athletes anddr berger younger patients undergoing hip replacement and his unique procedure for doing hip replacements along with expectations for outcome and recovery. Dr. Berger has pioneered minimally invasive hip and knee replacement, allowing patients to recover faster with less pain than with traditional hip and knee replacement surgery.

His degree in mechanical engineering from MIT has helped him design specialized instruments which allow the surgery to be done without cutting any muscle, tendons, or ligaments. These advances allow most of Dr. Berger’s patients to walk independently and leave the hospital the day of surgery. His mechanical engineering background has also helped him to design gender-specific implants that fit and perform better for active patients.

Find more information about Dr. Berger and the hip injury treatment and prevention program by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and the Illinois Athletic Trainers Association at Hips for Life.

Hips for Life


Segment Two (15:10): Dr. Cole and Steve discuss growth plate injuries in young athletes. The growth plate, also known as the epiphyseal plate or physis, is the area of growing tissue near the end of the long bones in children and adolescents. Each long bone has at least two growth plates: one at each end. The growth plate determines the future length and shape of the mature bone. When growth is complete–sometime during adolescence–the growth plates close and are replaced by solid bone.Related image

These injuries occur in children and adolescents. The growth plate is the weakest area of the growing skeleton, weaker than the nearby ligaments and tendons that connect bones to other bones and muscles. In a growing child, a serious injury to a joint is more likely to damage a growth plate than the ligaments that stabilize the joint. An injury that would cause a sprain in an adult can be associated with a growth plate injury in a child.

Injuries to the growth plate are fractures. They comprise 15 percent of all childhood fractures. They occur twice as often in boys as in girls, with the greatest incidence among 14- to 16-year-old boys and 11- to 13-year-old girls. Older girls experience these fractures less often because their bodies mature at an earlier age than boys. As a result, their bones finish growing sooner, and their growth plates are replaced by stronger, solid bone.

While growth plate injuries are caused by an acute event, such as a fall or a blow to a limb, chronic injuries can also result from overuse. For example, a gymnast who practices for hours on the uneven bars, a long-distance runner, or a baseball pitcher perfecting his curve ball can all have growth plate injuries.