Labrum Tear

Pain Catching in your Hip

What is a labral tear of the hip?

The labrum is a ring of cartilage around the hip joint that stabilizes the ball in the socket of your hip joint.  When torn, this can cause pain and catching in your hip.

How does it occur?

Your labrum can be torn through a traumatic injury, or with chronic repetitive movements.  Common sports associated with labral tears are football, hockey, golf or softball.  Long distance running or other repetitive type movements may put you at greater risk of tearing your labrum.  Some people are born with structural abnormalities that make them more prone to tearing their labrum.

What are the symptoms?

Pain deep in your groin is the most common symptom.  You may also experience locking, catching or clicking as you move your hip.  Stiffness and decreased range of motion may also be present.

How is it diagnosed?

A labral tear is diagnosed with a thorough history and physical exam.  Your hip will be moved through specific movements to evaluate range of motion and pain or catching with these movements.  X-rays will evaluate bony structures for other injuries, and an MRI will evaluate soft tissues.  Labral tears commonly occur with other injuries to the hip.

How is it treated?

Conservative therapy starts with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).  NSAIDs such as Advil/ibuprofen or Aleve/naproxen are also helpful in reducing pain and inflammation.  Steroid injections can give immediate relief and help in the diagnostic process.  Physical therapy, either done with home exercises or an outpatient physical therapist, may strengthen supporting muscles during the recovering process.  If these treatments fail, or in severe cases, minimally invasive surgery is the next step.

What is the recovery time?

Recovery time varies based on the severity and chronicity of the injury from weeks to months.  Every individual heals differently.  If surgery is required, it can be done as a same day surgery.  You will be up and walking in a couple of hours with the assistance of a walker.  In a week to two weeks most patients get rid of the walker and start progressively advancing activity.   You will be given simple home exercises to do, along with walking, to help you have a full recovery.  Most of our patients don’t need to see a physical therapist; we will evaluate you at your 2-week follow-up appointment and may refer you to one at that time.

We are here to help. If you believe you are suffering from one of these conditions, we would love to deliver a diagnosis, get you treated and get you moving again.

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