What is a Hip Labral tear?

Two joints in the body have what is called a labrum. The shoulder and the hip joints are both ball and socket joints. Regarding the hip joint, this ball and socket consist of the top of the thigh bone (femur) and the bottom of the pelvic bone. The upper end of the femur is called the head of the femur. This comprises the ‘ball’ that fits into the part of the pelvic bone that comprises the ‘socket.’ This socket is referred to as the acetabulum. This type of joint allows all for much more motion than is seen in other joints, primarily rotation movements.

In order to make this socket deeper, it has a labrum. The labrum is a ring of tissue that goes around the edge of the socket, in effect deepening the socket. The head of the femur moves more easily with protection from the labrum. Like the rest of connective tissues in our bodies, the labrum is vulnerable to tears and injury. For the hip, tears of the labrum can lead to chronic aches and pain and significant disability.

What causes Hip Labral tears?

Labral tears are similar to other orthopedic conditions like osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of hip refers to diminishing cartilage while labral tears are rips or tearing of the labrum. In both of these conditions, there is injury to the hip that can cause chronic hip pain. Causes of labral tears in the hip are the following:

● Natural wear and tear or aging
● Severe injury to the hip, thigh or groin
● Overuse or overextension of the hip joint

Athletes have a higher risk of ligament and labral tears due to their level of physical activity. So, labral tears often result from sports-related injuries.

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Hip Labral tear Symptoms

In addition to significant hip pain, there are several symptoms that relate to labral tears. Patients may not notice any major symptoms immediately after the tear. Over time, the hip pain and other symptoms begin to worsen. If the labral tear grows or the patient waits on a diagnosis, there will be increased pain. Major symptoms of labral tears include:

● Pain sensations near the groin or buttocks
● Catching and locking within the hip
● Sounds like popping or clicking from the hips
● Weakness in the hip toward one side specifically
● A feeling of instability at the hip joint

If You Are Experiencing Symptoms, Schedule an Appointment Dr. Burke Orthopedics Immediately.

How do I prevent and treat a Hip Labral Tear?

Most labral tears are the result of serious injury to the hip, although they can occur from normal wear and tear on the joint due to age. Protecting the hip and other joints can help with injury prevention. Especially for athletes, patients must take caution before physical activity or exercise. Follow along with this labral tear prevention advice:

● Properly warm up before activity
● Wear supportive shoes for working out and exercising
● Wear correct protective equipment when participating in sports
● Let the hips and legs rest after repetitive motions like cycling or running
● Seek treatment when feeling any levels of pain near the hip joint

The pain of many hip labral tears can be controlled with conservative measures, but in the case of a very advanced injury or significant disability, surgical intervention may be necessary.

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