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GAA Experiences 329% rise in Hip Surgeries

Yes, you read that right

329% that’s not a typo.


It comes from an interview Newstalk did with Doc Falvey, a surgeon out at Santry sports clinic.

We’re familiar with Falvey, our own Paul Cox went out to see him a few years ago about his own hip, which has just been replaced.

Paul’s doing very well if you were wondering. The hip they took out was about as bad as any hip could possibly get, but as we’re closing in on his 8th week post op, he’s bouncing around again.

But what interests me are quotes from a couple of other articles on hip surgery and athletes:

“Most people would prefer surgery than 4 months rehab” (


“the earlier you’re involved in academy training at a professional soccer club, the more likely you were to have the bone changes in hip shape that we see in this problem” – Falvey

And also the fact that the surgery has become far more available due to the increased skill of surgeons and better equipped hospital facilities. Better surgeons and hospitals are a very good thing, so I’ve no issue there.

What bothers me are:

Early specialisation  which potentially creates specific injury risks

Surgery is a “magic pill” that has a guaranteed outcome and is preferable to other rehabilitive measures

Surgeons are available, so use them.

It used to be the case that surgery was the last option taken. Other methods of diagnosis and treatments are also developing and are getting great results without invasive surgery. But as these take time, are less “instant” they seem less popular.

In the 90’s knee surgery was the in thing. Now we’re seeing a huge amount of those surgeries suffering with other issues. Will the same thing happen with the hip surgeries? I’ll let you know in 2026.

In my opinion, a more global view of an athletes training needs to be taken.

The stresses, strains and specific needs of the sport are fairly well known. How these stresses change according to the various positions on the field is also reasonably well known.

But human movement patterns are less well understood.

This is what the Anatomy in Motion system has done better than anyone else at this moment in time. They’ve broken down human movement at it’s most basic level.

And if we can look at the human before we look at the athlete or the sport, I believe we can work to reduce and possibly even prevent the surgeries and maybe the “wear and tear” that precedes it.

Every sport has it’s unique issues. Imbalances created by the specific movements and positions needed to become successful at the sport.

My goal as coach is to spot them, but also to ensure these don’t become the athletes primary movement program, overwriting their original human software.

By using the Anatomy in Motion as a basis for training, we can restore the human movement program, train it, upgrade it and give you a better platform with which to run the athletic programs.

The problem with this?

It means we create athlete specific training programs for every individual on the team. Which sports teams view as a logistical nightmare. They want everyone doing the same thing together. It’s easier, maybe even cheaper that way.

Yet with proper assessment, and a quote from Dan John who says “make your warm up your workout”

It’s becomes simple to train people.

A good strength program needn’t be complicated. Nor incredibly time consuming.

If the athlete has a good detailed assessment, this can be used to develop his warm up. Ok, the “warm up” is really his rehab, but done right it leaves him warm, well aligned and moving like a human. Then he can move to the more generic strength program.

This approach is not, or at least should not be revolutionary.

I see it as common sense.

It will never eliminate sports injuries, but it should reduce them, or at least reduce those that are termed “wear and tear” which are the very ones that seem to be getting the most surgical intervention right now.

If you play any sport and at any level, especially if you plan on playing at a high level, you owe it to yourself and your career to get a full detailed assessment, one which gives you specific exercises and drill to do to keep yourself healthy despite the rigours of your training.

Food for thought.


Dave Hedges

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