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What Is a Hip Labral Tear?

Hip labral tears affect the soft tissue that sits between the acetabulum and the femoral head in your hip. Because these joints function as a ball and socket, this soft tissue is essential in enabling you to enjoy everyday activities and sports without difficulty. If you tear this tissue, the acetabulum and femoral head no longer have a cushion or seal between them, which results in a wide range of symptoms and can require surgical correction.

golf swing at sunset

Hip Labral Tear Causes and Risk Factors

There are several causes and risk factors associated with hip labral tears, but three of the most common are:

  • Trauma or Sports Injuries: Athletes – particularly ice hockey, soccer, and football players, in addition to golfers and ballet performers – are prone to hip labral tears due to how they must move their bodies to perform the tasks their sports require. Car accidents are also culprits in hip labral tears.
  • Structural Problems: If you were born with a hip condition, then you might be at risk of suffering from a hip labral tear. These conditions increase the likelihood of wear and tear and an acceleration of the current disability.
  • Repetitive Motion: Sudden twisting and pivoting motions are hard on your hip joints, even if you stretch correctly. Some sports, like golf, repeatedly demand these motions. High-intensity jobs – like warehouse packers – can put you at risk for hip labral tears as well.

Symptoms of a Hip Labral Tear

  • Locking, clicking, or catching sensations
  • Hip or groin pain
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Stiffness

When Surgery Is Necessary

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of a hip labral tear, it’s a good idea to contact Dr. Madsen immediately. As with other injuries, an early diagnosis might help you avoid surgery and result in quicker recovery times. Dr. Terry Madsen might recommend over-the-counter medications and physical therapy first, but if those don’t work, a minimally-invasive hip labral tear surgery could be required.

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