Hip labral tears refer to a tear or damage to the cartilage that lines the rim of the hip joint socket. The labrum helps to stabilize the hip joint and prevent dislocation, and a tear can lead to pain and instability in the hip. Hip labral tears are often caused by sudden or repetitive motions, such as twisting, bending, or impact activities, and can occur in both athletic and sedentary individuals.
The symptoms of a hip labral tear may include pain in the hip joint, especially during twisting or rotational movements. There may also be a clicking or popping sensation, as well as a feeling of instability or weakness in the hip. Individuals who engage in high-impact sports or activities, such as running, jumping, or weightlifting, are more susceptible to developing hip labral tears. We also see them accompanied by hip impingement as well.
The first line for minor hip labral tears is often conservative therapy. This means gradually exposing your body to positions that historically have been sensitive. This is often achieved by a combination of joint mobilization techniques, soft tissue therapy, and progressive loading. We often start with sled exercises, which are both challenging, but safe due to their restricted range of motions.
We also work closely with orthopedic specialists who are able to provide other early interventions such as injections, which can give us a pain free window to explore different ranges of motions and loading strategies. As always, we have the ability to order imaging with conditions that we believe warrant further evaluation!