The hip joint socket, known as the acetabulum, is lined by cartilage. The labrum is soft tissue or cartilage that surrounds the edge of the socket and works specifically to form a seal around the ball (femoral head) assisting with the stability and lubrication of the hip joint.
Causes of a labral tear can vary. They can result from injury to or a dislocation of the hip joint, repetitive activities and even abnormalities that patients are born with which can see the wear and tear of the joint accelerate over time. It is, however, more often than not that the labrum tears due to Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI).
Symptoms of an acetabular labral tear
Patients presenting with an acetabular labral tear experience a range of symptoms that include:
- Groin pain
- Difficulty walking
- Thigh pain
Whilst labral tears may be pain and symptom-free in some instances, typically some experience a clicking sound and/or locking of the hip, which is made worse with any form of physical activity that requires bending, squatting or high impact movement involving the hip.
Pain associated with a labral tear can also be referred and felt in the lower back and knees.
Acetabular labral tear treatments
Untreated, patients can experience short-term pain, however, in the long term, ongoing cartilage damage can be debilitating and may result in damage to the hip joint which may eventuate in osteoarthritis.
There is a range of non-surgical and surgical options available to treat acetabular labral tears.
Non surgical options
Depending on the severity of the pain and level of discomfort, many patients can benefit from a range of non-surgical treatments. These can include anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and adjustments to physical activity. All options work to provide temporary relief of symptoms, however none of these solutions will fix the underlying cause or repair the labrum tear.
Labral tears with persistent symptoms that are not satisfactorily addressed with non-surgical treatments, will ultimately require repair with hip arthroscopy. During this keyhole surgery tears are repaired and stabilised.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
Don’t put off a visit to the Adelaide Hip Centre.
Arrange a consultation if you are living with regular hip pain and common symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.
No one likes to live a life with pain. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms contact your doctor to request a referral to the Adelaide Hip Centre.
A consultation with one of our surgeons will help diagnose your condition based on your symptoms and a thorough examination.
Contact for any enquiries relating to hip arthroscopy.