A hip labral tear is an injury to the cartilage inside the hip joint. The hip joint is made of a ball and socket. The ball is the end of the thigh bone, also called the femur. This ball fits into the bowl-shaped socket in the pelvic bone, also called the acetabulum. Cartilage lines the socket to keep movement smooth and the joint cushioned. When the cartilage tears, it is called a hip labral tear.
Hip Joint and Cartilage
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If you suspect you have this condition, contact your doctor right away.
Hip labral tears can result from wear and tear or from an injury. Causes may include: Wear and tear of hip joint from different activities, such as golf or softballTraumatic injury to hipTwisting injuriesMotor vehicle accident
Degenerative diseases like
Factors that can increase your chances of getting a hip labral tear include: Femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAI)Legg-Calve-Perthes diseaseHip dysplasiaOsteoarthritisTrauma to hipSlipped capital epiphysisCapsular laxity/hip hypermobility
Symptoms vary and can be mild, including: Hip pain: sharp, deep, disablingLocking or clicking of hipHip instabilityLimited range of motionTenderness to touchGroin, buttock, or thigh painPain during activity
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You will likely be referred to a specialist. An orthopedic surgeon focuses on bones and joints.
Images may need to be taken of your hip. This can be done with: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
An anesthetic may be injected to help diagnose this condition.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Common medical treatment may include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)Steroid injection to the jointModified activityPhysical therapy to strengthen muscles
Generally, this treatment is tried for several weeks. If there is no improvement, then surgery is considered.
uses a thin, lighted tube inserted through a small incision to view the injury and fix it. Small instruments are threaded through this tube. The torn cartilage may be removed or sewn together.
After surgery, you may be fitted with a brace. This will provide support and aid healing. A therapist will work with you. The therapy will include strength exercises and a plan to increase your weight bearing.
There are no known guidelines to prevent a hip labral tear.
Bharam S, Philippon MJ. Diagnosis and management of acetabular labral tears in the athlete.
Burnett SJ, Della Rocca GJ, Prather H, Curry M, Maloney WJ, Clohisy JC. Clinical presentation of patients with tears of the acetabular labrum.
The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
Hunt DH, Clohisy J, Prather H. Acetabular Labral Tears of the Hip in Women. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America - Volume 18, Issue 3 (August 2007).
Last reviewed May 2013 by John C. Keel, MD
; Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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