What is a Hip Labral Tear?
A hip labral tear is an injury of the hip labrum, or the cartilage outer ring beyond the hip joint’s socket. This cartilage has two important purposes: the cushion for the hip joint, and a kind of tightening seal to keep the thighbone tucked into the hip joint’s socket. Traumatic blows are the most common cause for hip labral tears.
Hip Labral Tear Symptoms
Surprisingly, most cases of hip labral tears showcase no obvious symptoms, making detection difficult and rare. However, there are some signs that could indicate a hip labral tear. These signs include:
– Unusual pain in the groin or hip area
– Limited flexibility and tight stiffness in the hip joint
– A sensation of clicking or locking when moving the hip joint
If you are experiencing any of the signs above, especially if you regularly play contact sports, you may have a hip labral tear.
Hip Labral Tear Causes
Hip labral tears are generally caused by:
– Traumatic Blow: Contact sports like rugby, hockey, and football commonly lead to hip dislocation or hip injury, which can cause damage to the hip labrum. Motor vehicle accidents are also possible causes.
– Repetitive Physical Activity: Some sports require engaging the hip in a quick pivoting or twisting motion, such as baseball, softball, and golf. Years of repeating quick, sudden movements on the hip can wear it down, leading to a hip labral tear.
– Anatomical Problems: People who are born with issues with their hips or other parts of the body are much likelier to experience damage to their hip labrum.
How is a Hip Labral Tear treated?
A hip labral tear can be treated with medications, therapy, or surgical procedures for more severe cases. Physical therapy for hip labral tears involves exercise and stretches that engage the hip’s strength and flexibility, with the goal of rebuilding the hip’s functionality.