Do I Have a Labral Tear in My Hip?

hip labral tear

Hip pain can be easily disregarded, but can eventually impact your ability to move and perform daily activities like walking, running, and standing up, among others. Hip labral tears are common in athletes or those who put immense strain on their hip joints. Dr. Daniel Gibbs provides some of the most highly-regarded hip labral tear treatment available today in Park City Utah.

What is a Labral Tear?

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that cushions and steadies your hip joint. Your hips bear your weight during most upright activities, and the labrum acts as a “rubber gasket” to facilitate fluid motion and hold your thigh bone in place. Though often seen in athletes, a hip labral tear can happen to anyone.

What Does a Labral Tear Feel Like?

Hip labral tears are difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often similar to, or in conjunction with, other hip injuries. In general, after a hip labral tear you may notice:

  • Pain in the hip or groin area
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Catching, locking, or clicking sensation in the hip joint

Symptoms can also worsen with increased activity, particularly movements that bend or strain the hip joint. Some people may not even notice symptoms of a hip labral tear and the condition can go untreated in some cases.

Hip Labral Tear Causes

Certain athletes are particularly susceptible to hip labral tears. Football, soccer, golf, and ice hockey are the most common culprits, although anyone who performs repetitive or high-impact movements can experience an injury from overuse or excess stress.

Other instances of a hip labral tear can be caused by an abnormality in the development of the hip joint. Any abnormalities can cause and imperfect fit between the two bones that causes unnatural movements or puts additional strain on the joint. Lastly, some degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage to break down over time.

What Are my Options for Hip Labral Tear Treatment?

Before recommending a specific treatment, Dr. Gibbs will first perform tests, complete imaging scans, and ask you questions. Mild hip labral tears may just require medication. Anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can control symptoms and reduce swelling. Physical therapy to analyze your movements and make small adjustments that reduce stress on the joint.

Hip labral tear surgery is performed arthroscopically for those with moderate to severe tears. When the tear is accessible, the labral fibers can be repaired. Otherwise the torn section is shaved down or removed. The procedure is minimally-invasive, but will still require a few weeks to a few months of rest and relaxation to fully heal.

Treating a Hip Labral Tear with Dr. Daniel Gibbs

Dr. Gibbs is a talented surgeon of the hip, knee, and shoulder. He focuses on providing non-surgical or minimally-invasive procedures when possible to reduce healing time and help you get back to playing sports and exercising like normal. His compassionate care and enthusiasm for the community make him an invaluable part of our Heiden Orthopedics team.

2 Comments


I have had pain for 7 years in my right leg. I have myalgias and my butt, hip, and thigh muscles. The pain gets worse at night and when I sit or walk too long. I have clicking and popping in my hip when I move it certain ways. The pain is now constant, but it gradually got worse. I’ve seen many doctors about it and have run many tests, however my doctors have never done any of the test for a labral tear. I brought it up to my doctor and I’m going to see him tomorrow to check if that is what’s been causing me so much pain. Is there a reason why it would take them this long to run any of the tests and why I had to bring it up to them? They continue to tell me it was in my head for many years and after reading many articles I’m so certain that this is what has been bothering me. Are there other cases that took this long to diagnose? I’m curious about the typical timeline and why none of these tests have been run before.

Reply

    Hi Nicole. I can’t speak specifically to your situation because I do not know all the facts. I will say that the diagnosis of a labral tear in the hip is often delayed. One study from 2009 found that the average time to diagnosis from the onset of symptoms was 3 years. Most people saw an average of 4 different health care providers before a correct diagnosis is made. I think we are better now than in 2009 but often it can take a while to get the correct diagnosis. I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if I can be of help in any way.

    -Dan Gibbs

    Reply

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