There's been so many questions and concerns regarding Brandon Marshall's hip surgery that I wanted to give a little insight into our hips. I'm a physical therapist that is a board certified orthopedic specialist.
Athletes are especially at risk for hip ailments due to the repetitive amount of pivots and cuts they perform while playing. WRs with large frames are at a disadvantage because they generate a great deal of torque at their hips when they are running their routes.
The most common hip surgeries are:
1. Arthroscopic acetabular labral debridement: The labrum at the hip joint is a fibrocartilage disc that helps deepen the hip socket and thus allowing for optimal function and stability. There is a tear in the labrum located at the rim of the hip acetabulum. Generally the "frayed" labrum is resected and smoothed to allow the hip to return to motion without any "catching". Doctors are careful to preserve as much of the labrum as possible in order to not disturb too much of the hip continuity in the acetabular socket.
2. Arthroscopic labral repair: The labrum at the hip joint only has a good blood supply in the outer portion (approx outer 1/3 portion). If the tear occurs in an area with a good blood supply a doctor may be able to suture or repair the labrum. For normal individuals you normally dont do this, but for young people or athletes they prefer to repair the labrum. The recovery after labral repair is a bit more cautious than just a debridement b/c you have to allow for the sutured area to heal.
In either case, it shouldn't impede the player from resuming full sport within 2-3 months - provided there are no complications. And, the athlete should be allowed to continue a "normal" career. Arthritis is almost inevitable...but most likely after their playing career is over.
3. The other common hip surgeries (in a normal population, not necessarily athletes) are hip resurfacing and total hip replacements. These surgeries are usually performed in a population age > 35. Besides Bo Jackson, I can't remember any athlete coming back to high-level sport after having a total hip replacement.
It hasn't been revealed what type of surgery Marshall had, but based on his style of play and my experience with football players. I bet that he had debridement of the acetabular labrum. It may have been a repair, but I doubt it because he has been pretty active right after surgery (I personally wouldn't have someone riding a bike right after a labral repair but it is ok after a debridement - and you guys have seen that Marshall was on the bike a week after surgery).
My greatest concern for Marshall's hips are if he has laxity or looseness of the joint capsule of his hip joints. Because once the joint capsule is lax, it greatly affects the hip's stability. And, no matter how many squats or leg lifts he does, the stability stays compromised.
Daniel Navarro, PT, MPT, OCS, MTC
Atlanta Sport & Spine Physical Therapy