Jon Hyman MD Jon Hyman MD
  • Stanford University
  • Stanford University

Hip Labral Tear Surgery

Hip Labral Tear

Acetabular hip labral tears are common in the active population and increase in frequency as we age. The labrum is akin to an ‘O - ring’ gasket or seal of the hip socket.

Labral tissue is a fibrocartilage border on the rim of the hip.

It deepens the socket and helps keep proper joint fluid pressure at proper levels.

Labral tears can occur from traumatic injuries such as a car accident or sports mishap, or they can result from degeneration and impingement. If a labral tear is causing pain, and not all do, treatment is directed first at getting rid of the pain and second, at getting full functional recovery.

Symptoms of a Hip Acetabular Labral Tear:

  • Pain, clicking or locking in the groin area
  • Pain with running or prolonged sitting or side to side movement
  • Loss of flexibility in the hip joint
  • Hip pain with squatting

Sometimes the symptoms are hard to figure out because they can seem to occur at random times. The pain intensity can vary widely.

Repaired hip labrum

inflamed torn labrum

acetabular labral tear

Treatment options of hip labral tears

Generally, the treatment is based upon the severity of the tear and the intensity of the symptoms. For mild to moderate symptoms, rest, change in exercises, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications are common. For traumatic tears or more severe symptoms, or if non-surgical care fails, surgery to repair the labrum may be recommended. Hip labral tear arthroscopic surgery has a high success rate and most individuals can fully recover and get back to sports or activities within 4-6 months. The recovery period usually involves crutches for a couple of weeks and a couple of months of physical therapy.

Hip Arthroscopy Procedure

This is an outpatient surgery which is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure generally requires 2 small tic-tac sized incisions through which small metal cannulas (or straw like tubes) are gently inserted into your hip ball and socket joint. A camera is inserted through the tubes and the flexible tools, which bend like a submarine periscope, are inserted to perform the procedure. The surgery may involve fixing issues with bone, cartilage or ligaments inside your hip. Through advanced techniques in hip arthroscopy, Dr. Hyman is able to clean out the inflammation and also stimulate cartilage to grow. The results can be a long term success or they can help improve quality of life until a future time when further hip surgery may be needed. As the Medical Director of the Emory-Adventist Hip Arthroscopy Center, Dr. Hyman became a regional expert in this procedure.

The above article was written by Atlanta Hip Surgeon, Dr. Hyman, who completed his surgery training at Harvard Medical school, Emory HealthCare and the Nation-leading Hospital for Special Surgery.

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