About our Program

Hip preservation aims to slow the damage caused by osteoarthritis and delay the need for a total hip joint replacement.

The hip joint allows your leg to move through a wide range of motions. The joint is a cup-shaped socket and a ball at the top of your thigh bone. The cartilage lining the socket cushions the bones and allows smooth leg movement, while the labrum sits around the acetabulum to provide a suction seal to the hip.

When the cartilage that lines the socket and ball begins to wear down, osteoarthritis occurs, a condition that often leads to hip pain and limited motion. Patients with a torn labrum can experience pain and mechanical symptoms in the hip, most often felt at the groin.

Femoroacetabular Impingement

  • Also known as FAI or Hip Impingement is a mechanical dysfunction of the hip joint. Symptoms are caused by the pinching together of the head of the femur (ball) and the acetabulum of the pelvis (socket) caused by bony overgrowth that discourages freedom of movement of this joint and creates friction of the structures.

Hip Dysplasia

  • Occurs with the acetabular (socket) under coverage of the head of the femur (ball) allowing for hypermobility of the joint which, in turn, causes joint cartilage wear.

Acetabular Labral Tear

  • The labrum covers the outer edge of the acetabulum (socket) and deepens the socket and suction seal for the hip joint. This soft tissue structure is often damaged or torn in the setting of FAI and hip dysplasia.

Conservative Treatments

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Rest from activities that exacerbate symptoms
  • Physical Therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections

Surgical Treatments

  • Hip Arthroscopy
  • Periacetabular Osteotomy

Core Hip Preservation Team

Experts in hip arthroscopy for the treatment of common non-arthritic hip conditions such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and labral tears, our team uses the latest arthroscopic tools and techniques. 

Andrea Spiker, MD, our program director, is the only orthopedic surgeon in Wisconsin who is fellowship-trained in hip preservation.

UW Health’s hip preservation program is staffed by a team of experts, including orthopedic surgeons, non-operative sports medicine and rehabilitation doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers.

At UW, hip preservation patients are evaluated by our Primary Care Sports Medicine Team and treated conservatively. Physical therapy is a valuable asset that is utilized to strengthening the hip stabilizers which can often provide pain relief, improve muscle imbalance and muscle control. Medications and injections may also be effective recommended treatments. In the event that conservative treatments fail to resolve hip symptoms, patients are referred to our UW Hip Preservation Team to explore indicated operative treatments.


Andrea Spiker, MD
Assistant Professor

David Goodspeed, MD
Associate Professor

Pamela Lang, MD
Assistant Professor

Primary Care Sports Medicine Team

David T. Bernhardt, MD
Professor (CHS)

Kathleen E. Carr, MD
Associate Professor (CHS)

Erin Hammer, MD
Assistant Professor (CHS)

Andrew M. Watson, MD
Assistant Professor

John Wilson, MD
Associate Professor (CHS)

Treatments to reduce pain, restore hip function, and prevent osteoarthritis

Consider a visit with one of UW Health’s extraordinary hip preservation experts. It might change your life.