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Dr. Harjas Grewal Analysis

Dr. Grewal: Examining the likely surgery to Pavel Francouz



Pavel Francouz of the Colorado Avalanche

This is a new addition to Colorado Hockey Now, occasional pieces from Harjas S. Grewal, MD BSc. Family Medicine PGY-1 at the University of Manitoba. He also is a consultant with the Fantasy Doctors. When injuries to players happen, we’re told “upper body, lower body” and that’s it. Dr. Grewal’s occasional columns will give general overviews of various types of injuries, how they are treated and the prognosis for recovery. In his first column for CHN, Dr. Grewal discusses a common type of hip surgery given to hockey players – especially goalies – which may have been performed on Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz. Avs GM Joe Sakic said recently that Francouz had the same kind of surgery as Semyon Varlamov in 2017. 

By Harjas S. Grewal, MD

Pavel Francouz was declared out for the remainder of the season this past week and we initially had that news. The Avalanche have not disclosed any details around the specifics of the injury or surgery. However, if he had the same procedure as Semyon Varlamov in 2017, then we can piece together the puzzle.

Varlamov had surgery on both hips four weeks apart in 2017 for a “groin injury”. So that begs the question, did he have a groin injury, hip injury, or both? Well further reports indicated that renowned hip surgeon Dr. Marc J. Philippon performed Varlamov’s procedure, and he would not typically perform surgery on the groin muscle or tendon, but rather the hip joint itself. Moreover, it’s not common for someone to have surgery on both hips but when someone does, it can be because they have a condition called femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) which has damaged their hip. Tying this information together, Varlamov likely had FAI, which caused problems with hip range of motion and pain secondary to damage to the hip labrum, joint cartilage, or both. 

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