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Labral Tears: Symptoms and Treatments

Patients with hip pain can trust the experienced team at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery for exceptional orthopedic care. In certain cases, patients can report pain in the front of the hip, which can be due to a labral tear. Concerned patients ask, "Do I have a labrum hip tear?" or "Is hip labral tear surgery required?" VSON's hip specialists have the expertise to diagnose and treat pain in the front of the hip. Our labrum hip tear specialist is Dr. Max Seiter, whose experiences as an athlete give him a deep understanding of our patients' needs.

What is a Labrum Hip Tear?

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball formation at the top of the femur – the femoral head – fits into the socket of the pelvis at the acetabulum. A ring of cartilage circles the labrum, supporting the connection. The labrum aligns the bones, supplies synovial fluid, and supports frictionless motion. A labral tear can happen to anyone, either suddenly or gradually through:

  • Deformities – dysplasia or impingement

  • Degeneration – an erosion of labrum ring

  • Repetition or overuse

  • Trauma

  • General wear and tear

Pain at the front of the hip due to a labral tear may range from mild fraying to severe structural damage. A labrum hip tear can happen when the labrum separates from the socket. Injury can be at the front (anterior) or back (posterior) of the joint.

Labrum Hip Tear Symptoms

Patients experiencing pain in the front of the hip report symptoms that include:

  • Radiating pain through the hip, groin, and/or buttocks

  • Worsening pain during movement and/or sleep

  • Stiffness

  • Reduced range of motion

  • Clicking and/or locking with movement

Diagnostics and Treatment

Dr. Seiter and his team provide state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment plans for patients. Diagnostic protocols involve a thorough physical examination, x-ray, and MRI imaging. For complex cases, Dr. Seiter may conduct a nerve study with the use of ultrasound-guided pain management injections to identify obscured labral damage.

Labrum hip tears cannot heal on their own and require medical treatment.

  • Nonsurgical treatment - Mild to moderate labral tears can be treated with nonsurgical treatments. These include rest, activity modification, pain/inflammation management, steroid/pain injections, and physical therapy.

  • Hip labral tear surgery - Moderate to severe tears or mild tears that do not improve with nonsurgical treatment require hip labral tear surgery to improve symptoms. This procedure is typically performed arthroscopically for a quicker recovery.

Hip Specialist in Eagle and Summit County

VSON's hip specialists have the expertise for labrum hip tears or pain in the front of the hip. From nonsurgical care to hip labral tear surgery, Dr. Seiter and his team are your top choice for hip treatment. Request a consultation today!


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