Can You Fix a Torn Labrum Without Surgery?

Article by Zoe Russell

A labral tear is an injury to the labrum of the hip.

The labrum is a cartilaginous structure that covers the socket of the hip joint. The labrum allows the femoral head to move freely in the socket and a negative pressure seal to maintain the joint integrity through movements.

Some common symptoms of labral tears may include:

  • Hip pain
  • Hip stiffness
  • Pain in the groin or buttock regions
  • Clicking or locking of the hip
  • Instability or feeling unsteady when standing on one leg

Your pain may increase with activities that require you to bend and turn on one leg.

How Do You Fix A Labral Tear?

Labral tears often do not recover or heal on their own. Heerey et al. (2018) demonstrated that in healthy active people, a large number has no hip pain but demonstrates a labral tear on imaging!

Labral tears require a thorough clinical examination, with measures of your range of motion, strength and movement capacity to formulate a treatment plan. Your highly experienced PhysioWorks physiotherapist is trained to perform this examination.

Currently, there are two options for the management of labral tears:

  • Non-Surgical (Physiotherapy)
  • Surgical

Can You Fix A Torn Labrum Without Surgery?

Non-Surgical Management involves a physiotherapist-led program, which involves a graduated range of motion and strengthening exercises targeted at the hip and groin region and extending to the pelvis and trunk muscles to assist your recovery. There is emerging evidence that non-surgical management can benefit reducing pain and improvements in functional activities in young and middle-aged adults with hip and groin pain. The recommended rehabilitation period is three months duration. Similarly, recent evidence suggests that you have equally successful results for those who undertake a surgical option. For this reason, it is often recommended to trial physiotherapy as your first line of management for labral tears.

Surgical Management involves an arthroscopic procedure to trim the labral tear to reduce pain and mechanical symptoms. An orthopaedic specialist may recommend surgery after a period of non-surgical treatment, and only if your hip does not respond to an appropriate treatment regime. Following this procedure, you will undertake a period of rehabilitation with your physiotherapist.

Both these treatment options are aimed to modulate your symptoms to regain strength, balance, and range of motion of your hip joint.

With same-day appointments available, the team can assess and diagnose your hip to start your recovery today!

If you are concerned about your hip symptoms and think you may have a labral tear, please contact your local PhysioWorks Clinic.

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