Don’t Play Through The Pain

A hip labral tear, commonly suffered by athletes, can be a frustrating and painful injury leading to decreased range of motion (ROM), mobility, and athletic performance. Athletes suffering from a hip labral tear should understand the important role that minimally invasive surgery can play.

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What causes a hip labral tear?

The hip joint is surrounded by a ring of cartilage called the labrum, which helps to stabilize and cushion the joint. A hip labral tear occurs when the ring of cartilage becomes damaged or torn. Various factors, including overuse, trauma, or structural abnormalities, can cause a hip labral tear.

Signs to watch for

Symptoms of a hip labral tear may include pain in the hip or groin area, difficulty moving the hip joint through its full range of motion, and a clicking or popping sensation. Sometimes, a hip labral tear does not produce noticeable symptoms and can go undetected for years.

Non-surgical interventions

Treatment for a hip labral tear will depend on the severity of the injury and the symptoms experienced by the patient. In some cases, conservative treatment options such as rest, physical therapy (PT), steroid injections, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may sufficiently address the issue.

When conservative treatments fail

If non-surgical interventions are ineffective in relieving pain and improving ROM, hip labral tear surgery may be recommended. Several surgical options are available for treating a hip labral tear, including arthroscopic surgery or a minimally invasive procedure involving small incisions and specialized instruments to repair or remove the damaged labrum. Open surgery, a traditional surgical approach that involves a larger incision, can also be considered for more severe labral tears.

A full recovery

Depending on the severity of the injury, recovery timelines can vary. Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery can effectively restore range of motion and reduce pain. Patients spend about 4 months working with a physical therapist to restore function gradually. Full recovery can take up to 9 months. Patients must avoid extensive walking, standing, squatting, or crouching. Following the proper post-operative plan is crucial to restoring the full range of motion.

Get back in the game

A hip labral tear can be a painful and debilitating injury impacting range of motion and mobility. While conservative treatment options such as rest and PT may be sufficient for some, surgery is often necessary for people with more severe tears. Arthroscopic surgery is particularly effective in restoring ROM and reducing pain in patients with a hip labral tear.

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