Today’s the big day – you’ve been training for months, and now you’re ready for the game. The early morning conditioning, strength training, and drills will all be worth it when you outperform the other team. You’re in the middle of the game, and you’re playing your hardest when you suddenly make contact with another player. You both go down, but any sense of things going on around you subsides as all you can focus on is the intense pain coming from your hip.
Hip labral tears occur when the soft tissue that covers the acetabulum (socket) of the hip is injured. Athletes that participate in sports such as ice hockey, soccer, football, golf, softball, and ballet are at higher risk of developing a tear. But, sports aren’t the only cause of a hip labral tear. How else can you develop one, and what can you do to prevent and treat it?
Causes of Hip Labral Tears
- Trauma – from car accidents or contact sports
- Structural abnormalities – people born with hip problems
- Repetitive motions – sports and physical activities with twisting or pivoting motions
Symptoms of Hip Labral Tears
In some cases, hip labral tears won’t produce any signs or symptoms. When symptoms are present, they may include any of the following:
- A locking, clicking, or catching sensation in the hip joint
- Pain in the hip or groin
- Stiffness or limited range of motion in the hip joint
- Feeling unsteady on your feet
Diagnosing Hip Labral Tears
If you’re experiencing one of the symptoms above, then you should visit an orthopedic physician. A doctor will conduct a physical examination and may ask you to move your leg or walk around. Your ability to move and what pain you feel will help your doctor determine a diagnosis. In addition, your doctor may also order an x-ray or MRI to help determine if there has been any hip bone or tissue damage.
Treating a Hip Labral Tear
If you’re a person who has a hip labral tear but experiences no symptoms, then you can often go about your day-to-day without any specific treatment. However, if you experience pain — whether mild or severe — you may require physical therapy and anti-inflammatory pain medications. In some severe cases, your doctor may suggest surgery. Recovery can take up to six weeks – with athletes returning to play some time between two and six months.
Hip arthroscopy is usually done on an outpatient basis and involves small incisions around the hip. Your surgeon will clean or remove the injured labrum, or reattach it to the socket depending on your needs. After surgery, you’ll have crutches for two to six weeks and require postsurgical physical therapy.
How to Prevent Hip Labral Tears
Since most hip labral tears are associated with sports participation, you should focus on conditioning the muscles surrounding your hips if your sport puts a lot of strain on them. Do dynamic stretches and warm-up appropriately before putting a lot of weight on your hips or making swift twists and pivots. Avoid putting your full body weight on your hips when your legs are positioned at the extremes of your normal range of motion. Doing yoga to stretch and gently condition your body can also help.
If your hip issues are a result of genetics or structural abnormalities, you should talk to your doctor about your options. A physical therapist can also provide exercises that you can do to strengthen your hip and reduce your risk.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re experiencing hip pain from a hip labral tear, let us help you. We’ll tailor a treatment plan that’s best for your lifestyle and get you back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.