What The Labrum Is And What Is Does
The hip joint is a very complex, important part of our body. Unfortunately the hip bears the brunt of almost every movement and even non-movement you make. Even while laying down, there is pressure on your hip joint. Perhaps this is why any type of disease or injury to this area can be debilitating. Where the head of the femur meets the body, is the hip socket. The head of the femur, a typically nicely formed and round fits very nicely into the socket. There is cartilage that forms a seal, a "rim" around this joint. This cartilage is the Labrum. The Labrum gives a cushion to the joint and absorbs the shock of your movements. The Labrum is important also in keeping the joint stable and in place.
Signs of a Labral Tear
If you have a Labral tear in your hip, you may start noticing a "clicking" sound when moving from one position to another. More painful is a "catching" sensation. It feels almost like one bone is caught on another and it causes pain and even possibly a fear to move at that point. Some people have no pain at all while in others it produces a severe pain. This pain may even run across your pelvic region or down your thigh. You may notice the inability to do certain things that you need to move your leg in or out for. Losing mobility in any direction happens is if your range of motion is affected. Range of motion is very important, as it can and will affect many other functions and cause a lot more pain by losing it. Losing range of motion is almost a snowball effect really.
Causes Of A Labral Tear
The most common cause for a Labal tear is athletic injury. A sudden twisting motion or sudden hit, like you would get in football and other contact sports is the most common for athletes. You need not be an athlete for this kind of injury though. Car accidents, and any injury that can cause a dislocation can cause the Labrum to tear. You don't need to have a dislocated hip to have the tear either, but it is a little more common with those types of injuries. Any type of structural problem with your hip, whether born that way or due to arthritic conditions raises the risk of a Labral tear.
Conservative Treatment Of A Labral Tear
Unfortunately, a Labral tear will not heal on its own. There are things you can do to give yourself a little comfort though. The Orthopdic doctor, particularly one that specializes in hips is the type of doctor needed to moniter and treat this condition. Typically, treatment starts with physical therapy to regain some of your range of motion. Typically, hydro-therapy is recommended because then there is no pressure on the joint. Pain relievers may be used depending on the severity of the pain. Sometimes crutches are used for a time. Again, the tear itself will not heal, but this treatment is used to reduce the pain enough to resume your normal activities.
Surgery To Repair A Labral Tear
If conservative therapy does not enable you to return to normal activity and won't restore your range of motion, surgery is the only other alternative. During the surgery, the tear is actually "shaved" or trimmed away in some cases. In other cases there is a possibility of stitching it together again. The trimming away of the tear, or fringed labrum is more common and is typically done via anthroscopy, which is where the incisions are very small.
Any time a person has continual hip pain, it needs to get checked out. If nothing relieves the pain, it is very important to see your doctor. Typically x-rays are ordered first to make sure there are no fractures. Your GP will then refer you to an orthopedic doctor. Unfortunately the hip can have defects and problems that sometimes people suffer years with unable to get a diagnosis. If you have done everything and you still have a painful hip, be sure to ask your orthopedic doctor if he specializes in hips. If that doctor doesn't, it is imperitive to seek out a doctor who does.