Labral Tears

When you suffer a labral tear, it involves the ring of cartilage found on the outside rim of the hip joint socket. This is the labrum, which acts a lot like a gasket to hold the ball securely in the socket.

It is common for athletes to suffer labral tears. Those playing ice hockey, golf, soccer, football, or participating in ballet tend to be at the highest risk. If you have suffered a labral tear, you need the best Orthopedics Sports Medicine Surgeon in Atlanta for your treatment. Dr. John Andrachuck is the best choice with plenty of experience treating labral tears and other sports injuries.

What are Labral Tears?

A labral tear is a hip injury that impacts the labrum. This ring of cartilage is a part of the hip joint’s socket. The labrum will help to keep the bones of the hip aligned property and in place when you move. It also assists in keeping joint fluid inside the joint for frictionless motion.

Types of Hip Labral Tears

The severity of a labral tear injury can vary quite a bit from mini tears to complete tears. Sometimes, you suffer a labral tear, which is actually a fray at the edges. This type of tear will often happen due to gradually wearing on the labrum.

In some cases, you might suffer an injury where a section of the hip labrum actually separates or tears away from the socket bone. This type of injury often happens due to trauma.

Hip labral tears are split into two categories, regardless of severity:

  • Posterior Hip Labral Tears – This type of tear occurs on the back of the hip joint.
  • Anterior Hip Labral Tears – This is the most common type of labral tear and happens to the front of the hip joint.

Symptoms of Labral Tears

No matter what type of labral tear you suffer, you will likely feel similar symptoms. However, the place in your hip where you feel the pain might change.

The most common symptoms you will feel include:

  • Pain in your hip, buttocks, and groin. This pain is most common when running or walking, and sometimes when you go to sleep.
  • Stiffness in your hip
  • Limited range of motion
  • A clicking or locking sensation in the hip joint when you move

You may not notice symptoms at all from a labral tear. It can even go unnoticed for years before you suffer pain.

What Causes Labral Tears?

One of the most common reasons for a labral tear is found in athletes. Some sports put athletes at a higher risk than others. Typically, this type of injury is found in those that participate in ballet, golf, soccer, ice hockey, and football. However, it can be found in other athletes, too.

You may also suffer a labral tear from repetitive hip motions and hip overuse. This may be the motion you do every day at work. Hip labral tears can also be caused by trauma, such as a car accident or a fall.

Regular wear and tear can cause labral tears in the hips. Deformities of the hip joint and degrative conditions can also cause labral tears. If you suffer from hip dysplasia, hip impingement, or osteoarthritis, you might be at a higher risk of a hip labral tear.

Diagnosing Labral Tears

Your doctor will start with a physical exam when diagnosing labral tears. They will look at the signs of inflammation and swelling in your hip. It is common to have your range of motion tests, as well.

It is often necessary to use an X-ray or an MRI scan to diagnose a labral tear injury, as well. An X-ray can show any abnormalities in the alignment and shape of the hip joint. It can also help to show signs of arthritis.

With an MRI scan, contrast material may or may not be used. Either way, it will provide your doctor with a better look at the soft tissues around your hip joint, including the hip labrum.

In some cases, an ultrasound-guided injection may be necessary to properly diagnose a labral tear. It will come with a painkiller as a part of the diagnostic process.

Labral Tears Treatment

Since hip labral tears do not heal on their own, it is necessary to use the right treatment. Some minor tears will not cause much pain or limit your range of motion. However, they can become more serious over time.

There are many different ways to treat hip labral tears. Some of the common nonsurgical treatments include:

  • Rest and Activity Modification – By reducing or eliminating movements that can aggravate the injury, it can start to heal.
  • Injections and Over-the-Counter Medications – You may start with ibuprofen for the pain, but it may be necessary to have an injection to help relieve the pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy – A very common option that includes exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles around the hip to better support the joint during movement.

If nonsurgical treatments do not work, hip labral tear surgery will be the next type of treatment used. Your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery. This type of surgery will include several small incisions to allow your orthopedic surgeon to access the hip. They will use a special camera device known as an arthroscope and specific tools to repair the labral tear.

In some cases, your surgeon will remove frayed pieces and stitch the tear back together. They may also use tissue from other areas of the body to replace a missing labrum piece.

Labral Tears Recovery Time

If you undergo arthroscopic surgery for a hip labrum tear, you can expect to go home the same day as the surgery. It’s common for patients to return to low-impact activities very quickly including walking.

Most labral tear injuries resulting in surgery will also require physical therapy. If you have a low-activity job, you may return to work within one or two weeks. If your job puts stress on your hip, your physical therapist will provide a safe return date.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

Dr. Andrachuk provides extensive experience in treating labral tear injuries. If you have suffered a hip injury during athletic activity or you are experiencing hip pain, it’s time to seek medical help. Dr. Andrachuk offers conservative treatments, along with the best astroscopic and minimally invasive techniques available to get you back on the field as soon as possible. Contact us today and schedule your in-person or telemedicine appointment!