The labral team can change your life completely. You might not be able to do the activities that you enjoy like dancing, running, gardening, or hiking. This can be disappointing for a person who has an active lifestyle. But thanks to the advancements in the medical field, the labral tear will not lead to a life without any physical activity.
But first, let’s understand what a labral tear is.
The labrum is a rim of fibro-cartilage or soft tissue surrounding the hip socket named as acetabulum. It protects the surface of the joint and deepens the socket, providing stability to the hip. This labrum can get torn as a result of an injury. It can also be caused due to the degeneration of the joint or if there is arthritis in the hip.
Symptoms of Labral Tear
The symptoms of a labral tear include pain in the front of the hip or in the groin, this pain increases while rotating the hip, performing physical exercises, or performing deep flexion (bending). In some cases, patients experience a sense of having a deep rooted catch or clicking while performing certain activities.
Treatment of Labral Tear
The labral tear cannot be healed naturally by the body as there is no blood supply to the labrum. Some people don’t even experience any symptoms. But for others, the treatment involves the arthroscopic surgery followed by a rehabilitation program. If left untreated, it can lead to arthritis progression. Hip arthroscopy is recommended for patients whose tear is caused due to the abnormal bone formation near the hip. The procedure will remove the excessive bone as well as the labral tear. There are two ways of treating a labral tear:
This method involves physical therapy along with modified activities. These will stretch the hip muscles increasing the strength of the hip. To help the patient get rid of the pain and joint inflammation, corticosteroid injections can be used. The surgeon will need Ultrasound or X-ray guidance for the injections. Other treatment options include Hyaluronic acid, Glucosamine, and NSAID.
If the non-operative treatment options do not work, arthroscopic surgery might be the only option to remove or repair the torn tissue. It is an outpatient procedure that can help you recover from a labral tear within 8 to 12 weeks. This rehabilitation period can exceed if additional procedures were performed or excessive bone was removed.
The Arthroscopic hip surgery is an outpatient procedure performed using the general anesthesia. The procedure begins with your surgeon placing a light source with a small attached television camera in the hip joint. After this, instruments are placed inside to address the labral tears using a separate small incision. If you have a normal labral tear, the surgeon will either use the sutures to repair the damage or cut out the torn portion of the labrum. Whatever method your surgeon chooses will depend on the location and type of the tear.
This surgery is accompanied by its own potential risks like a blood vessel or nerve injury, persistent pain, infection, etc. Before you go through the surgery, make sure that you weigh these risks against the benefits of the surgical procedure. You need to ask your doctor if the surgical treatment is better or worse than alternative treatment methods for you.
Results of Surgical Treatment
Once you have undergone the arthroscopy, you will have pain relief for the upcoming months and years. If you don’t have arthritis, the results will hold up well and you will be satisfied with your treatment. A study was done on 100 military recruits with labral tears. Half of them were provided surgical treatment while the other half was treated with non-surgical methods. Two years after the treatment, there was no major difference between both groups. An equal number of people got better from both halves. The good things to learn from this study is that both the treatment methods- surgical and non-surgical, worked well and were successful in treating the labral tear.
Since it has found that both the surgical and non-surgical methods provide effective treatment for a labral tear, it is advised that you go for the non-surgical treatment method before you go for the surgery. If the non-surgical method is not working for you and your symptoms are not improving, you can go for arthroscopic surgery. Both methods will improve your symptoms.