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Hip labral tears

Hip labral tears are a common injury, for both athletes, and as a result of a chronic condition.

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Dr. Kevin Klean answers your frequently asked questions about hip labral tears.

What is the labrum?

If you think of the hip joint, it’s a ball and socket joint or a ball that sits inside of a cup. Around the cup, there’s tissue that acts as a gasket - that’s the labrum. The labrum makes a negative pressure seal within that joint that provides additional stability to the hip joint.

A hip labral tear is an injury to the labrum, the soft tissue covering the outer edge of the hip socket.

Why are labral tears common in athletes?

If someone performs an activity that requires extreme range of hip motion, such as a hockey goalie, a softball or baseball catcher, or a dancer, that can create a large amount of stress across that hip joint resulting in these types of injuries.

Hip labral tears can also occur after a traumatic injury to the hip.

How could a tear happen to someone who is not an athlete?

A tear can also be the result of Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI), a condition where extra bone grows along one or both of the bones that form the hip joint, creating an irregular shape.

If someone has too much coverage of the cup or a bump on the femoral head or neck, every time that hip comes up, that bump hits on the labrum or that suction seal, as well as the side of the cup. If this is left undiagnosed, over time it can cause a lot of pain and damage to the labrum and the cartilage itself within the hip joint.

What is the treatment for hip labral tears?

As with all conditions, treatment of hip labral tears is determined based on the patient’s goals.

When working with patients, my goal is to help them understand their condition and treatment, so we can work together to make informed decisions based on their lifestyle and personal goals. If necessary, hip arthroscopy can now be performed using minimally invasive surgery.

Similar to knee and shoulder arthroscopy, we can perform hip arthroscopy through small incisions. We then insert a fiber-optic camera, or an arthroscope, inside the hip joint to address the labral tear, along with the boney impingement to improve the joint mechanics and relieve the impingement, and, therefore the pain associated with the condition.

Dr. Klean provides all aspects of orthopedic care and is fellowship-trained in orthopedic sports medicine. He brings experience and expertise for services such as total joint replacements; minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, hip, and knee; complex knee surgery; cartilage procedures; and athletic injuries affecting patients ranging from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete.

Dr. Klean welcomes new patients. Appointments can be made at 608.357.2525. The registration team at Crossing Rivers Health Center for Specialty Care will work with you to schedule appointments and obtain primary care referrals, if needed, to ensure that appointments will be covered by insurance.

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