Hip joints are large ball and socket joints making up of the head of the femur and rounded like a ball to fit into the acetabulum, known as the hip bone socket. These joints are held together by the labrum, a fibrous cartilage which seals the femoral head. This cartilage also acts as a cushion between the two joints. The labrum cartilage is essential to keeping your hip joint stable. Without it, the hip doesn’t work properly.
Hip labral tears occur when damage is done to the labrum and/or cartilage. This can occur gradually over time or suddenly after trauma. While the labrum can become damaged from various ways, injury is still a major cause for labral tears. Anatomical structures and changes are also leading contributors of labral tears.
Hip Labral Tear Symptoms:
- Stiffness or pain with hip motion
- Pain in the groin area
- Locking of your hip when moved
- Instability or weakness on particular side of body
Common Causes of Hip Labral Tear
Injury or Dislocation – Sudden trauma to the hip joint can cause the labrum to tear. While doctors used to think injuries were the main reason labral tears occurred, advanced technology and anatomy studies are now showing abnormal shape and structure of the acetabulum, labrum, and/or femoral head to be leading causes of labral tears.
Strain from repetitive motion – Hip labral tears are common among athletes. People who run or play contact sports like football are more susceptible to hip labral tears. Sports requiring sudden twisting motions of the hip like golf may also cause hip labral tears. Repetitively moving your hip beyond its natural range of motion can cause tiny tears in the labrum.
Femoral Acetabular Impingement – Whether the femur is abnormally shaped (cam impingement) or the socket is misshapen (pincer impingement), both can cause wear and tear on your cartilage when the hip is bent or being used.
Hip Labral Tear Complications
Untreated labral tears can cause severe complications. Cartilage damage can become a serious injury since it does not heal easily. Cartilage cells cannot repair themselves. Hip labral tears can lead to joint instability and other knee, back, and neck issues down the road. Unstable joints can also accelerate the onset of osteoarthritis. Hip labral tears if left untreated can cause chronic pain and complications, including limited mobility.
Hip Labral Tear and Prolotherapy Treatment
Prolotherapy is an effective treatment option for hip labral tears. Because cartilage cells cannot repair themselves, injection therapy is needed to regenerate cells. Prolotherapy injections provide connective tissue growth responses when injected into the targeted area. Many who have experienced a hip labral tear are deciding against surgery, which used to be the leading treatment option for a hip labral tear, and choosing Prolotherapy for it is a cost-effective alternative to surgery.