The labrum is cartilage in the hip that lines the outer lip of the socket (acetabulum). It acts as a bumper for the joint and creates a suction seal for the hip socket to provide stability within the hip joint. Damage to the labrum can result in damage to the articular cartilage, which is the lining that covers the ball and the socket of the hip.
In order to diagnosis a labrum injury, a thorough history and physical exam are performed. Plain X-ray films will be performed to determine the shape of the ball and socket and assess the amount of joint space in the hip, which will help evaluate for osteoarthritis and FAI (femoroacetabular impingement). In addition, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) with injection of dye (gadolinium) into the hip joint is necessary to identify labrum tears.
Treatment of labrum tears is multifaceted and usually involves a combination of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.) and extensive physical therapy that focuses on improving flexibility and strengthening hip musculature. In order to prevent further cartilage injury and damage to the labrum, patients are advised to avoid heavy impact on the hips and repetitive deep flexion exercises, such as squats and lunges, especially in the face of FAI.
If conservative treatment fails, patients may require arthroscopic hip surgery to repair the frayed or torn labrum and correct any signs of FAI, such as a misshapen ball and socket of the hip.
Call (310) 860-3048 today and schedule a consultation at Snibbe Orthopedics in Los Angeles to learn if hip arthroscopy can help you!