Hip Labral Tears Diagnosed & Addressed by Orthopedic Joint Specialists Practicing in Freehold & Monroe Township, NJ
The labrum is a rim of cartilage that lines and protects the hip joint socket. In addition to serving as a shock-absorbing cushion, the labrum helps to evenly distribute the pressure exerted on the joint during movement. The labrum also stabilizes the hip by holding the head of the upper leg bone (femur) firmly in its socket and preventing excessive movement.
Labral tears can result from direct trauma or arthritic hip degeneration. However, these injuries are most often related to femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), a condition that can develop during childhood if the hip bones do not form properly and take on an irregular shape. This can cause the hip bones to grind against each other during movement, and the resulting friction can damage the labrum over time.
What Are the Symptoms of a Labral Tear?
Labral tears usually cause dull pain at the front of the hip or in the groin area, particularly with deep flexion (bending) and rotation of the hip. During certain activities, some people also experience a clicking or catching sensation deep within the hip.
Due to an overlap of symptoms with hip bursitis, hip flexor tendonitis, and other soft tissue injuries to the hip, labral tears are sometimes overlooked or incorrectly diagnosed. To confirm a labral tear, a physician will typically evaluate the symptoms, perform a physical examination, and order an imaging study, such as an X-ray or MRI arthrogram.
How Is a Labral Tear Treated?
Labral tears do not heal on their own, but the symptoms of a relatively minor tear can sometimes be managed conservatively with:
- Rest and activity modifications
- Physical therapy, including exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the hip joint
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Corticosteroid injections
To address persistent hip pain or a severe labral tear, surgery may be discussed. For instance, a surgeon may repair, reattach, or debride damaged tissue in the hip joint. If FAI is also present, it may be addressed at the same time to help prevent future labral tears. In some cases, this surgery can be performed arthroscopically.
If you’re experiencing hip pain, you can receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment from a hip specialist at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute in Freehold or Monroe Township, New Jersey. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.