Labral Tears of the Hip

What is a labral tear of the hip?

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint, where the thighbone (head of the femur) forms a “ball” that inserts into a “socket” (acetabulum) which is located in the pelvis. The ball and socket are each covered with smooth articular cartilage.

The labrum is made of another type of thick cartilage that runs along the rim of the socket. Its purpose is to provide additional stability and to normalize joint pressures during hip motion.

The hip labrum may tear from the socket, creating inflammation in the tissues and muscles surrounding the hip and generate hip pain during physical activity.

Why does the hip labrum tear?

Labral tears are typically caused by repetitive motions over time, resulting in ‘wear and tear.’ They can also occur due to a traumatic injury during physical activity.

Active individuals with hip impingement also known as femoro acetabular impingement (FAI), are especially susceptible to labrum tears. FAI is a condition in which there is abnormal contact between the ball and socket of the hip. Specialized radiographs and a Hip MRI is necessary to diagnose hip labrum tear and FAI.

Hip Labral Tear Surgery

How are hip labral tears treated?

Some people who have a labral tear experience no symptoms and do not need specific treatment.

However, if you have persistent pain from a labral tear, you may get sufficient relief from non-surgical treatments such as specialized physiotherapy. Anti-inflammatory pain medications such as (ibuprofen, naproxen, celebrex) can be used to decrease inflammation around the labrum and provide pain relief.

Hip labral tear surgery

If you have a severe tear or if nonsurgical treatment won’t provide adequate relief, you may be a candidate for hip arthroscopy.
This is a minimally invasive procedure in which a small camera is inserted through tiny incisions around the hip to reattach the labrum to the socket using specialized instruments. As a result of this minimally invasive approach, patients typically experience less pain and a faster recovery.
Hip arthroscopy procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home on the same day as the surgery.
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After the surgery, you will be discharged on crutches and use them for 2 to 6 weeks. This length of time is determined on a case-by-case basis.
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A week after surgery, specialized physiotherapy is started to improve your range of motion and muscle strength around the hip.
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Immediate post-surgical recovery from hip arthroscopy and labrum repair to regular activities of daily living can take up to six weeks. Depending on the extent of the injury, competitive athletes may return to their sport sometime between 4 and 6 months.
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We pride ourselves on providing a warm and welcoming environment where you feel comfortable and supported throughout your recovery journey. Whether you’re dealing with a minor injury or a more complex condition, our team is here to help you reach your health and wellness goals.

Thank you for considering the Canadian Surgical Clinic for your orthopedic care needs.

Thierry Pauyo, MD

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