Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What can I do about the labral tear in my hip?"
I?m in my early thirties, male. An MRI found a labral tear in my hip. The pain in my hip is becoming unbearable. What are my options? Do I have to have surgery to repair it? What should I do about the pain?
A labral tear is a relatively common injury in young healthy, active patients. In some cases in can be relatively minor, and sometimes the symptoms can be horrible and unbearable. The required treatment is really dictated by the symptoms. Talk to an orthopedic surgeon for more information. Firstly, the labrum is a small piece of cartilage that is present in mobile joints (like the hip and shoulder). The cartilage acts like a washer -- protecting the joint from bone rubbing on bone. The labrum can tear either because of significant "wear and tear" (common in older adults) or because of a trauma (common in young athletic patients). The labrum is not necessarily essential and therefore, what your doctor will do really depends on (1) how you feel with regards to pain and (2) what you are functionally able to do. If you are in pain, there are multiple treatments like pills or injections. If you are having trouble with mobility, physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles can help. Ultimately, if unberable as you are describing, a surgery can be done. This is done arthroscopically often -- which means the incision is VERY small. Talk to an orthopedic surgeon. Surgery can repair it, but is not necessary unless your symptoms are very distressing.
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