Pronounced: Hip Lay-bral Tears
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 (femur). This ball fits into the bowl-shaped socket in the pelvic bone (acetabulum). Cartilage lines the socket to keep movement smooth and the joint cushioned. When the cartilage tears it is called a hip labral tear.
If you suspect you have this condition, contact your doctor promptly.
Hip labral tears can result from wear and tear or from an acute injury. Causes may include:
These factors increase your chance of a hip labral tear. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
Symptoms vary and can be subtle. If you have any of these do not assume it is due to a hip labral tear. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
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 solely on issues of bones and joints.
Tests may include the following:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Common medical treatment may include:
Generally this treatment is tried for several weeks. If there is no improvement surgery is considered.
Arthroscopy 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 exercise and a plan to increase your weight bearing.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Arthroscopy Association of North America
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Anterior hip pain. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/991015ap/1687.html . Accessed October 29, 2008.
Bharam S, Philippon MJ. Diagnosis and management of acetabular labral tears in the athlete. InternationalSportMed Journal . 2008;9(1):1-11.
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 . 2006;88:1448-1457.
Hip Labral Tears. Arthorscopy Association of North America website. Available at: http://www.aana.org/LabralHipTears.aspx . Accessed October 27, 2008.
Labral Tears. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hip-labral-tear/DS00920 . Accessed October 27, 2008.
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 November 2008 by John C. Keel, 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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