How do I know if I have a hip labral tear?
The labrum is a ring of fibrous cartilage that follows the outside rim of your hip socket (acetabulum) that acts like a bumper to hold the head of your thigh bone (femur) in place. Tears of the hip labrum commonly present as anterior hip and groin pain, a “catching” sensation in your hip joint, or limited range of motion in your hip joint. The cause of a hip labral tear is often correlated with micro-trauma that occurs with twisting and pivoting in sports such as, ice hockey, soccer, golf, and ballet. Structural abnormalities of the hip and traumatic injuries also can lead to a hip labral tear.
When experiencing hip pain it is best to have a physician evaluate your condition. The physician will determine whether diagnostic tests are necessary to better understand what is going on inside the hip joint. Depending on the severity of your hip pain, the initial treatment may be rest, activity modification and/or medication, such as an NSAID to reduce inflammation.
The physician may also prescribe physical therapy to improve hip range of motion, strength, and stability. Cycling should only be performed if you are able to avoid excessive hip flexion. Physical therapists can also analyze and optimize gait and certain movements you perform to decrease stress to your hip joint. To decrease stress to your hip when sitting you should keep your knees higher than your hips, avoid crossing your legs, sit with all the pressure on your butt bones (ischial tuberosities) and not on the thigh bone (femur), and avoid rotation when standing up.
Depending, on the extent of the tear and response to physical therapy after 6-12 weeks your physician may recommend a surgical procedure. If a surgical approach is recommended conservative efforts are not lost due to increased hip range of motion and strength with physical therapy. Most athletes return to sports within 4-6 months after a surgical intervention. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms contact a physician.
The author of this article is Natalie Schauer, PT, DPT from Athletico – Michigan Ave. location.