How is a hip labral tear treated?

A hip labral tear won’t heal on its own, but rest and other measures can help manage symptoms of a minor tear. Nonsurgical treatments include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) can reduce inflammation.
  • Medication injection: Doctors can inject medications, such as steroids, into the hip joint to ease symptoms.
  • Physical therapy: Specific physical therapy exercises to stretch and strengthen the hip muscles may help relieve pain. Physical therapy usually requires a prescription from your doctor.

If symptoms persist or if the tear is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery to repair a hip labral tear is usually done arthroscopically. This is a minimally invasive surgery in which the doctor makes small incisions (cuts) in the hip and uses miniature instruments to make the following repairs:

  • Refixation or repair (stitching the torn tissue back together)
  • Reconstruction (reconfiguring damaged tissue using healthy tissue from elsewhere on your body or from a donor)
  • Debridement (removing a small piece of labral tissue)

If FAI is also present, it will be addressed (removed) at the same time to help prevent the labrum from tearing again.

The arthroscopic surgery is often done on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient goes home the same day.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/08/2018.

References

  • American Physical Therapy Association. Physical Therapist's Guide to Hip Labral Tears. Accessed 5/7/2018.
  • Groh MM and Herrera J. A comprehensive review of hip labral tears. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2009 Jun; 2(2): 105–117. Published online 2009 Apr 7. doi: 10.1007/s12178-009-9052-9
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hip Arthroscopy. Accessed 5/7/2018.
  • Harris JD. Hip labral repair: options and outcomes. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2016 Dec; 9(4): 361–367. Published online 2016 Aug 31. doi: 10.1007/s12178-016-9360-9

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