A highlight of Mike DiSalvo’s athletic career occurred in 2008 when he traveled to Germany with his Quincy University soccer team to compete against semi-pro teams. He captained his team to victory in two out of three matches.
The international wins came when Mike was playing as a red-shirt senior after taking a year off to undergo and recover from sophisticated hip surgery. A lifelong soccer player, Mike’s saga began in the weight room. “I felt a ‘pop’ in my left hip,” he says, “but didn’t think much of it.” Nonetheless, the “pop” sent him to his trainers who recommended physical therapy for a hip flexor strain.
When physical therapy produced no improvement, Mike visited an orthopaedic surgeon and an MRI revealed a torn labrum and something more. The surgeon referred Mike to John C. Clohisy, MD, director of the Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Hip Disorders at Washington University School of Medicine.
Clohisy diagnosed Mike’s underlying hip problem as femoroacetabular impingement. This disorder often leads to irreversible arthritis and early hip replacement. It could have ended Mike’s soccer career and ruled out that trip to Germany.
Mike chose surgery to repair the labral tear and correct the bone impingement. Clohisy performed the procedure in December 2006, shaving the head of the femur, trimming the rim of the socket, and repairing the torn labrum. Though Mike had little pain, he says, “Rehab was tough. I like to push, and my instructions were no weight bearing exercises for four weeks.” Now Mike says his hip “feels better than ever.” In fact, so good that it’s clear by comparison that his right hip is also affected and will someday need similar treatment.
But for now, Mike plays soccer for fun, plans to run his first marathon and studies to become a financial advisor. “Doctor Clohisy preserved my hip joint for a lifetime, and I couldn’t imagine better treatment,” he says.