Hip Labral Tears

Hips are a unique part of the anatomy. Most people tend to not think about their hips in everyday life until the onset of pain or accidental injury. The hip is defined in medical dictionaries as the area around the articulation of the femur and the acetabulum at the base of the lower trunk. At each hip joint, the smooth round head of the femur fits into the acetabulum. The joint is covered by a tough, flexible protective capsule and is heavily reinforced by strong ligaments that stretch across the joint.

As in most joints, where the ends of the bones meet they are covered with a layer of cartilage that reduces friction and absorbs shock. For the human body, that cartilage is a built-in shield of protection as long as it remains intact or free of injury.

There are many different types of hip-related orthopedic issues. One common issue is labral tears. Many hip labral tears cause no signs/symptoms. However, in some cases, significant symptoms are present such as: locking, clicking or a catching sensation in the hip joint; pain in the hip/groin; and stiffness or limited range of motion in the hip joint. Symptoms of this significance require a medical evaluation by an orthopedic specialist.

Orthopedists work hard to utilize nonsurgical treatments to manage labral tears including rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections to reduce pain and inflammation, but in many cases a surgical procedure is recommended to treat the ailment.

Hip arthroscopy is a common procedure to relieve painful symptoms associated with a labral tear. It allows orthopedists a clear view of the inside of the joint using an arthroscope (small camera), so miniature surgical instruments may be used to repair damaged areas.

During arthroscopic repair, an orthopedist places sutures through the tear and “tacks” the labrum back down to the attachment on the acetabulum. This helps the hip joint return to a more normal state of vascularization and prolongs the life of the joint. Hip arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure and is normally an outpatient surgery.

If you are experiencing hip pain or joint-related issues and would like to speak with a specialist, please feel free to contact McBride at 405.230.9270 and make an appointment.

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