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Labral Tears

The Basics

The acetabular labrum is the cartilage lining the acetabulum (socket) of the hip, and it provides stability to the joint. Tearing the labrum can cause a variety of issues, from dislocation to hip microinstability.

Causes

Labral tears can be caused by a variety of factors. Like many other injuries in orthopaedics, labral tears can be caused by acute trauma, musculoskeletal health conditions like arthritis, and repetitive motions that may occur in sports or daily life. Additionally, structural issues of the hip like femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) can increase wear and tear and lead to injuries. In FAI, extra bone grows on either of the bones of the hip, leading bone on bone rubbing and therefore increased wear and tear on the joint.

Symptoms

How do you know if you have this condition? Well, some common symptoms are groin and hip pain, instability, stiffness and limited range of motion at the hip joint. Another unique symptom is a feeling of “clicking” at the hip joint.

Treatment

The first line of defense in treating labral tears are nonsurgical techniques, including pain medication (also known as NSAIDS), physical therapy, and finally corticosteroid injection. If these conservative techniques are unsuccessful, surgery can be a viable option. Surgery for labral tears is typically done arthroscopically, which is minimally invasive. 

 There are multiple types of arthroscopic surgery for labral tears, including refixation, reconstruction, and debridement. Refixation involves stitching the labrum together, and in reconstruction, a patient’s healthy tissue is used to repair the damaged tissue. In debridement, part of the labrum is removed. Studies have shown that refixation and reconstruction have superior outcomes to debridement. There's also  labral preservation surgery combines refixation and reconstruction these methods to preserve the form and function of the labrum.

Prevention

Labral tears can lead to major complications, like osteoarthritis and joint degeneration. However, they can be prevented by consistently stretching, warming up, and improving strength and flexibility in the hip area. Having supportive footwear can also help, which you can find in the "Footwear Recommendations" section of our website

Patient Resources

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hip-labral-tear/symptoms-causes/syc-20354873

  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hip-labral-tear/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354878

  3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17756-hip-labral-tear

  4. https://journals.lww.com/cjsportsmed/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2019&issue=01000&article=00005&type=Fulltext&casa_token=dTxG2QuKrBYAAAAA:Ade-wFpcZfKKPcHFdl6hURrfrDPSyRW2Ai0i_amI5Xl_i-GKPsnavc7_Mtix9QKU3dNOiCgs-GkerZ1O0PLO

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127940/

  6. https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/surgery/ortho/hip/Pages/labral-tears.aspx

  7. https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/pdf/10.1302/0301-620x.98b6.37099

  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127940/

  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27235512/

  10. https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_labral-tears-hip.asp