Hip Labral Tear
WHAT IS A HIP LABRAL TEAR?
On the outside rim of your hip joint socket, there is a ring of cartilage called the labrum. Its purpose is to cushion the hip joint and to help hold the ball shaped end of your thighbone in place within the hip socket. The labrum can become torn during sports activities or if you have a structural abnormality in your hip.
- Groin or hip pain
- A feeling of the hip locking, clicking or catching
- Reduced movement and stiffness in the joint
- A feeling of unsteadiness when walking
- Trauma. Dislocation or injury can occur when playing sports, especially, ballet, golf, football or hockey. Trauma may also occur during events such as car accidents.
- Abnormalities in the joint. An abnormality in the structure of the joint can cause excessive wear and tear, leading to damage to the labrum.
- Repetitive movements. Certain repetitive movements such as pivoting and twisting can cause wear and tear over time, resulting in a labral tear.
- Degenerative conditions. Chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis (wearing down of cartilage in the joints) can make the labrum prone to tearing.
- X-ray – to detect fractures and structural abnormalities
- MRI scan – to look at soft tissue damage in more detail. You may need to have an injection of a contrast material into the joint. This will help to identify the tear if you have one
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Brufen (ibuprofen)
- An injection of corticosteroids into the joint to provide temporary relief
If you have had arthroscopic surgery, you may need to use crutches for 2 to 4 weeks. If you have had open surgery, you may need to use crutches for up to 6 weeks. It is advisable that after surgery, you take 1 to 2 weeks off work. People who do labour intensive work or work that involves long periods of standing may need to take up to 6 months off.
On your doctor’s advice, you may be able to return to light exercise 3 months after arthroscopic surgery or more intense sports after 6 months.