THE BLOG
05/27/2010 11:31 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Bull Riding Is No Walk in the Park...

On Athlete 360, a new show about sports medicine, viewers get to know their favorite athletes, "inside and out." Mike Moore admits that "bumps and bruises... are part of the game" when you're in his business. This assertion is undoubtedly an understatement: Moore is a professional rodeo cowboy and bull rider, and the torn hip labrum he suffered was certainly more damaging to his body than your average bumps and bruises.

After being thrown from a bull, Moore tore the labrum of his hip. So what exactly is the labrum? The labrum of the hip is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the joint. It stabilizes the joint by making the socket deeper and by creating a suction seal between the femoral head (the ball of the hip joint) and the acetabulum (the socket of the hip joint). The labrum is injured by trauma such as Mike Moore's, by gradual wear, or by extra bone on the socket or ball which pinches the labrum. The presence of extra bone pinching the labrum is called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). When FAI is present, labral tears and early arthritis may result.

In the general public, pain is usually localized to the groin and is often associated with clicking, popping and catching. The earlier this is diagnosed the better, as damage gets worse over time. Prevention is possible by maintaining good cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and strength. In the presence of FAI, avoiding positions of discomfort is recommended. If you have pain that keeps you from doing things you enjoy, you should be evaluated by your doctor.

Mike Moore sustained his labral tear when he dislocated his hip after being thrown from a bull. He suffered severe groin pain every time he got on a bull after his initial injury, and subsequent pain was intensified by each ride. When Moore could no longer make a living doing what he loved, he sought out an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate and treat his problem.

In order to see all of the structures in the joint, an MRI arthrogram was performed. An arthrogram includes dye being injected into the joint to more adequately show any damaged tissues. Mike's MRI showed a torn labrum, loose bodies and some arthritis. Given all of the damage in his joint, arthroscopy of the hip was recommended. Prior to the availability of arthroscopy, a large incision was made and the hip joint had to be surgically dislocated in order to treat this problem.

Using a camera and tiny arthroscopic instruments, Mark Adickes, a doctor for the Houston Rockets and Rodeo Houston and host of the Athlete 360 show made two small incisions in Moore. He removed the loose bodies, repaired the labrum, and smoothed out the cartilage to lessen the symptoms caused by the arthritis. Adickes repaired the labrum using a drill and tiny anchors placed into the bone. Sutures attached to the anchors captured the labrum and reattached it to its anatomic position. Moore then began a four-month-long course of physical therapy, followed by an intense strengthening program.

After the surgery that repaired Mike Moore's labral tear, he got back on a bull in just over six months. He entered his first rodeo and won the bull riding competition with his arthroscopically repaired hip. The weekend warriors among us should note that if an arthroscopically repaired hip will allow a man to ride a bull for a living, it will certainly do the job for the rest of us as well.

Mike Moore will be featured on Athlete 360 this week.