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About Your Hip Joint

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket type joint. As one of the largest joints in the body, your hip is where the thigh bone (femur) meets your pelvic bones. These include the ilium, ischium, and pubis. The ball-shaped head of the femur fits into a socket in the hipbone. his allows for smooth and comfortable movement.

There are many other components of the hip joint that also allow for comfortable motion. To move without pain, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons all must work properly.

In your hip joint, cartilage and synovial fluid must be present and in-tact. Muscles and tendons must be securely attached to help your hip joint move smoothly.

Causes of Hip Labral Tears

A hip labral tear occurs when the tissue lining the socket of the hip joint gets damaged. This tissue, known as the labrum, helps the bones in your hip move.

Injury to the labrum can be caused by several factors:

  • Structural
  • Injury
  • Degenerative conditions

Structural problems with your hip could include the femur not fitting into the joint correctly. Some patients are born with these conditions. People can develop degenerative diseases at different points in their life.

Injury to the hip joint could also cause a labral tear. People who play sports are at a higher risk for this injury. Anyone who places a lot of strain on the joint through repetitive motion can also develop a labral tear. Individuals who have an accident could also develop this condition. This includes people who have had slip and falls or a car accident.

Degenerative conditions, like osteoarthritis, can also contribute to hip labral tears.

When the joint begins to deteriorate, the labrum is also at risk. This is because all aspects of the joint work in conjunction. When your hip gets injured, it is very important to seek care when you first notice an issue.

Symptoms of Hip Labral Tears

There are many symptoms of a hip labral tear. Some patients may not experience every symptom. Others may experience pain to different degrees. With a professional treating you, they can determine if a labral tear is present and how serious it is.

Many patients report the following symptoms:

  • New Hip Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Groin Pain
  • Pain in the Buttocks
  • Clicking in the Joint
  • “Locking” of the Joint
  • Pain After Activity or Sitting
  • Feeling Unsteady

Diagnosing Hip Labral Tears

Your surgeon will first test the strength and motion of your hip joint. They will also check for external symptoms, such as swelling or bruising.

Since range of motion is often affected by hip labral tears, checking how well the joint moves is key. The surgeon will try to recreate the movement that cause the patient the most discomfort. This will allow them to understand exactly where the labrum is affected.

An important diagnostic tool for hip labral tears the FABER test. FABER stands for flexion, abduction, and external rotation. This test can determine if the patient is experiencing discomfort from a hip labral tear.

The FABER test includes:

  • moving the leg from a laying-down position
  • having their ankle crossed over the knee of the other leg.

The surgeon will then place gentle pressure against the knee to test the hip joint.

Hip Labral Tears Treatment Options

Dr. Vigdorchik is a strong believer in prioritizing non-operative treatment. Whenever possible, conservative treatments get preference. In cases of severe injury, or when conservative care fails, surgery may become an option.

Conservative treatments for hip labral tears include:

  • Rest
  • Taking NSAIDs
  • Joint Injections
  • Physical Therapy

These treatments work to help the patient recover from their labral tear without needing surgery. Oftentimes, patients may combine these conservative treatments.

When a patient doesn’t feel relief from conservative care, they may need surgery. These procedures can repair the tear and restore comfortable movement of the joint.

Surgical treatments for hip labral tears include:

  • Arthroscopic debridement: a procedure where the surgeon uses an arthroscope to clear loose pieces of labrum from the joint.
  • Arthroscopic hip labral repair: a procedure where the surgeon uses an arthroscope to visualize, reattach, and repair tears in the labrum.
  • Arthroscopic hip labral replacement: a procedure where the labrum is replaced and reconstructed. This procedure is only performed when the labrum is too damaged to be repaired with a good outcome.

Are you experiencing hip pain as a result of a sudden or chronic injury?

Hip surgeon Dr. Jonathan Vigdorchik is here to help you with your hip conditions and injuries, including labral tears. Dr. Vigdorchik has a non-operative priority and uses state-of-the-art surgical techniques. This allows patients with hip injuries to receive the best care.
Schedule an appointment immediately – 212-606-1992

If your hip pain developed from a sudden or chronic injury and has any of the symptoms below, please call hip surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik.

  • Reduced motion in the hip
  • Pain in the groin area or outside of the hip from activity
  • Pain after sitting for an extended period of time
  • Popping or clicking in the front of the hip