What is a hip labrum tear?
The hip is a complex ball-and-socket joint, formed from the head of the femur (thigh bone) fitting snugly into a portion of the acetabulum (pelvis). A hip labrum is a fibrocartilaginous tissue that surrounds the socket, creating a seal between the head of the femur and the pelvis. The hip labrum is responsible for stabilizing the hip by deepening the socket and limiting movement of the femoral head, keeping it in place. The labrum is also a shock absorber which distributes weight evening throughout the joint. If the hip labrum tears, hip instability occurs, causing pain and often, hip dislocation. Dr. Leslie B. Vidal offers both conservative and surgical treatment options for patients in Vail, Eagle and Summit County and those in the surrounding Denver area who have torn their hip labrum.
What is the treatment for a hip labrum tear?
Conservative therapies may be sufficient at resolving symptoms of a small hip labrum tear or frayed hip labrum. Avoiding weight-bearing, or weight-bearing with the assistance of crutches, is encouraged. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and corticosteroid injections directly into the hip can be used for pain and inflammation management. A physical therapy program aimed at improving hip strength and mobility is highly encouraged for patients that want to avoid surgery.
However, when conservative therapy is unsuccessful, or in the event of a complex or severe hip labrum tear, surgical intervention may be required. The goal of surgically treating a hip labrum tear is to restore the original function of the hip labrum to restabilize the hip joint. Several factors, such as the patient’s age, medical history, activity level, injury severity, and recovery goals are considered when formulating an appropriate treatment plan. Dr. Leslie B. Vidal, orthopedic hip doctor, treats patients in Vail, Eagle, and Summit County, and those in the surrounding Denver area, who have experienced a hip labrum tear and are in need of surgery.
How is a hip labrum repair performed?
Patients with a small hip labrum tear or minor hip labrum damage from an injury are good candidates for a hip labrum repair. This minimally invasive procedure involves a small camera (arthroscope) and specialized surgical instruments to conduct the necessary repairs. Prior to starting, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. Once stabilized, Dr. Vidal creates a number of small incisions surrounding the hip joint. The arthroscope is inserted through a portal and the images are relayed onto a screen for Dr. Vidal to methodically examine the bones, ligaments, and cartilage of the hip joint. To enhance the visualization of these hip joint structures, a sterile solution is circulated continuously. The damaged hip labrum fragments are excised and removed through a process known as debridement. Any irregularities, such as bone spurs, that can irritate the tissue or disrupt the recovery process are also removed. The remaining healthy hip labrum tissue is reattached to its original anatomical position on the labrum. Special surgical anchors that are secured within the bone are used to fasten the repaired hip labrum.