What is a hip labrum tear?

The hip labrum is a fibrocartilaginous ring that lies in the socket portion of the acetabulum (pelvis) to create a seal between the head of the femur (thigh bone) and the pelvis. It primarily functions in securing the femoral head in place, but also acts as a shock absorber, provides joint stability, and lubricates the hip joint. A hip labrum tear is most often the consequence of anatomical abnormalities where the femoral head and acetabular socket are not properly aligned. Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis can also result in a hip labrum tear. Athletes, particularly those that perform repetitive twisting and pivoting movements, are susceptible to a hip labrum tear as well.

What is the treatment for a hip labrum tear?

Patients that sustain a small hip labrum tear may find non-surgical treatment measures beneficial for symptom management. These non-surgical therapies can include limited weight-bearing, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), and, if necessary, corticosteroid injections directly into the hip joint. Patients that wish to avoid surgery are encouraged to participate in a physical therapy program that focuses on improving mobility and strengthening the hip and core muscles.

However, surgical intervention is likely necessary for severe or complex hip labrum tears or failed non-surgical therapy. The goal of surgically repairing a hip labrum tear is to stabilize the hip joint by restoring the original function of the hip labrum. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic hip doctor, treats patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area, who have experienced a hip labrum tear and are in need of surgery.

How is a hip labrum repair performed?

A hip labrum repair is the ideal treatment option for patients with minor hip labrum damage or a small hip labrum tear. A small camera (arthroscope) and specialized surgical instruments are utilized in this minimally invasive surgical procedure. To begin, Dr. Patel creates several small incisions surrounding the hip joint and the arthroscope is introduced through a portal. Dr. Patel methodically examines the bones, ligaments, and cartilage of the hip joint from the images that are transmitted from the arthroscope. A sterile solution is often continuously circulated through the hip joint to enhance the visualization of these hip joint structures. Once the hip labrum damage is identified, the debridement process can begin in which the damaged tissue fragments and any other irregularities, such as inflamed tissues or bone spurs, are excised and removed. The healthy hip labrum tissue that remains is fastened into the correct anatomical position with special surgical anchors that are secured within the bone.

Labrum Tear & Repair | Houston TX

How is hip labrum reconstruction performed?

Debridement and repair of the hip labrum may not be sufficient for treating a complex, severely damaged, or recurrently torn hip labrum. In these particular instances, Dr. Patel may prefer implementing a tissue graft, either from the patient (autograft) or donor (allograft), to reconstruct the hip labrum. The tissue graft is measured to fit within the socket of the acetabulum and then fastened to the native tissue with special surgical anchors secured within the bone. Surgical reconstruction aims to restore the original suction seal function of the hip labrum to improve hip joint stability.

What is the recovery period like after hip labrum surgery?

The recovery period following hip labrum surgery is determined by the surgical technique performed and the severity of the hip labrum injury. Most patients can expect a full recovery with a return to normal daily and athletic activities in approximately 6 to 8 months. Compliance with the post-operative care instructions set forth by Dr. Patel can also greatly affect the recovery process. In general, patients in the Houston, Texas area can expect the following:

  • Weight-bearing with the assistance of crutches for at least 2 weeks. A hip brace may also be applied for further protection of the hip labrum while sleeping.
  • A combination of ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can be beneficial for managing any post-operative pain or inflammation.
  • The key to a successful recovery following hip labrum surgery is adhering to and completing the physical rehabilitation program designed by Dr. Patel. This physical therapy program will focus on improving and strengthening the function of the hip.

Hip Labrum Surgeon

The hip labrum is a fibrocartilagenous tissue that provides stability and works as a shock absorber when walking or moving. Patients that participate in activities that involve frequent twisting or pivoting are at an increased risk of tearing or damaging the hip labrum. This injury can be treated with arthroscopic surgery to repair and replace damaged tissues. Complex hip surgeon, Doctor Ronak Mukesh Patel, provides diagnosis and treatment for patients in Houston, Sugar Land, and Pearland, TX who are experiencing hip pain and instability. Contact Dr. Patel’s team today!

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