UI Sports Medicine gets Hawkeye players back on court fast after hip surgery

McCaffery dribbling in front of opponent

As the Iowa men’s basketball team prepares to tip off another Big Ten tournament, two Hawkeye standouts are ready to bring their best game to the court. After experiencing months of hip pain, Jordan Bohannon and Connor McCaffery are now able to play pain-free, thanks to the help of the UI Sports Medicine team.

Bohannon and McCaffery suffered from a condition called femoroacetabular impingement, or FAI. FAI is a common cause of hip pain where the shape of the bones of the hip joint cause tearing and damage to the labrum, the cartilage in the front of the hip.

For athletes like Bohannon and McCaffery, FAI can be debilitating. Both players previously struggled to perform to the best of their ability. A significant amount of their time between games was spent recovering from injury instead of preparing for the next game.

Recommended surgery

Brad Floy, the Hawkeyes men’s basketball athletic trainer, was the first to recognize and identify these injuries in Bohannon and McCaffery. He pulled in Robert W. Westermann, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at UI Sports Medicine that treats hip injuries for all of the Hawkeye sports teams. Westermann’s recommendation was a surgery called hip arthroscopy.

“This is a surgery many athletes were previously apprehensive about because the outcomes in the past were unpredictable,” says Westermann. “Recovery can take within 4-6 months to get back to full activity, but some recoveries can take 8-12 months. It isn’t uncommon to hear of athletes that wind up having to miss out on a season because they need a longer recovery.”

Bohannon and McCaffery were both back on the court in less than six months, and now that they are free of pain, they are playing at an even higher level than before the surgery.

“It’s really positive they were able to get back on the court so quickly,” says Westermann. “I attribute their quick recovery to a combination of good athletic training care and injury recognition, good surgical technique, and focused rehabilitation.”

Bohannon shooting the ball

Back on the court quickly

Westermann performs over 300 hip arthroscopy surgeries each year, which he says has a positive impact on outcomes.

“Because we specialize in this type of surgery and handle lots of cases, our outcomes and return-to-sport rates are higher than many other places in the Midwest and nationally,” says Westermann. “So we felt confident we could get Bohannon and McCaffery back on the court quickly.”