Jock Doc

Hip pain while running could signify stress fracture

Q. About three months ago, I began running for exercise. I used to run in high school but have not done it regularly for 20 years. About three weeks ago, I began to have pain in my right hip and groin when running. I rested for a week but when I ran again, the pain came back. It does not hurt when I swim, but I really enjoyed running again and want to continue. Should I rest longer or see a doctor?

A.Hip pain that develops in a runner is a concern. You should see an orthopedic surgeon to have your hip evaluated. The major worry is the possibilty of a stress fracture. This is a microfracture of a bone that when present in the hip, could develop into a complete fracture. This is usually an overuse injury when an athlete increases their training, particularly on a hard running surface. In addition to your physical exam. the doctor may order X-rays or an MRI scan. If a stress fracture is found, this may require rest, crutches or even surgery. Other possible causes of hip pain in a runner include tendonitis, arthritis, or a labral cartilage tear. Please get checked quickly so hopefully you can return to running soon.

Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to