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Dr. McMillan - 1/2015

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3DPT interviews Dr. McMillan from Lourdes about hip labrum injuries and treatment options

3DPT had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Sean McMillan from Lourdes about hip labrum injuries and treatment options. Patients can go to for more information and resources about hip labrum and other orthopedic injuries.

3DPT: Where are you from and where did you go to Medical School?

Dr. McMillan: : I went to medical school at PCOM (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine). My internship was at UMDNJ-SOM in Stratford and my residency at Peninsula Hospital /North Shore LIJ in long island. Finally, my fellowship was at UMASS in Worcester.

3DPT: Can you talk about a hip labrum and some conditions that can lead to irritation of the labrum?

Dr. McMillan: The hip is a ball and socket. The labrum is a piece of cartilage that sits around the edge of the socket to create a firm suction seal. It is very similar to the pink rubber gasket in an outdoor hose. Essentially, the labrum functions to maintain stability, aid in shock absorption and to decrease friction within the joint.

Our understanding of causes of labral pathology is growing by the minute. The leading cause to date of labral tearing is a condition known as femoral acetabular impingement (FAI). When we look at the contour of the ball, and or the socket, of a patient who has FAI, we find that there is an increased amount of bone on one of both of the components.

As mentioned earlier, the hip is a tight socket with a suction seal. If there is an abnormality to the contour of either the ball and or the socket, the labrum can become pinched or crushed during hip movement.

Because of this, when I address the labral tear surgically, I will also reshape the bone to restore its normal shape, thus minimizing the risk of re-injury.

3DPT: What is an arthroscopy?

Dr. McMillan:Arthroscopy is a procedure that allows a minimally invasive view into a joint. Through usually 2 or 3 tiny poke holes, we are able to perform magnificant work, such as repairing the hip labrum, a rotator cuff, or reconstruct an ACL.

Here is a video of one of my hip arthroscopies:

3DPT: Do all hip labrum or impingement injuries require surgical correction?

Dr. McMillan:This is a great question, and the answer is no. Labral tears are only repaired in a patient who has specific mechanical symptoms for 6-12 weeks and have failed conservative measures such at therapy, rest and anti-inflammatories. Very often we can rehab a patient with a labral tear through a dedicated physical therapy program focusing on core stabilization. Once an individual has completed their program we will re-introduce sporting activities into their routine and should they fail this, then we will consider surgical intervention.

3DPT: What is the post operative rehabilitation like? When we people be back to running/sports?

Dr. McMillan:Post operatively I like to get my young athletes into therapy within 2-3 days to begin restoration of passive motion. The rehab program focuses on core stability, with an emphasis on the low back, abdomen and hip flexors. It is broken up into phases that allows the patient to regain strength and motion, as well as correct improper body mechanics.

3DPT: What do you enjoy in your free time?

Dr. McMillan: : I love playing music. I play the drums, guitar and piano and find it is a great way to unwind. I am blessed to have wonderful wife and incredible 3 year old twins who occupy the rest of my free time. I wouldn't change a thing!

Dr. Sean McMillan specializes in hip and general orthopedic surgery as well as non-operative management of orthopedic conditions. He has office hours at:

Lourdes Health System
1 Brace Road
Cherry Hill, NJ

2103 Burlington-Mt. Holly Road
Burlington, NJ 08016

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     -      Dr. Kathryn Gollotto, DO - Orthopedic Reconstruction Specialists