Hip Impingement and Labral Tears

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Hip impingement occurs when bony prominences in the bones of the hip hit each other during certain hip joint movements. This can result in tearing of the labrum which is the O-ring seal around the hip socket that improves lubrication in the hip joint.

Both hip impingement as well as labral tears can cause pain in the hip joint. The long-term issue with such problems is that it may lead to osteoarthritis of the hip in the future due to impaired lubrication and increased wear and tear in the joint.

The assessment of the hip involves excluding other causes of pain in the hip as well as determining if the symptoms are consistent with impingement or a labral tear. X-rays and MRI scans can further confirm the diagnosis.

Quite often, the symptoms can be managed non-operatively. Activity modification and physiotherapy may also help. Should the symptoms be severe or not resolving, surgery may help resolve the problem.

The current surgical treatment for hip impingement and labral tears utilizes hip arthroscopy which is a keyhole procedure. Via two or three holes, your surgeon can debride, repair or reconstruct the torn labrum.

Bony prominences in the hip joint can also be removed to further reduce the chance of impingement and retearing of the labrum.

After surgery, one has to be compliant with instructions to limit excessive movement in the joint, as well as to use crutches to support the body weight for a few weeks.

Physiotherapy is also essential in the recovery period.

Do consult your surgeon for a more detailed and comprehensive discussion regarding the risks and benefits of surgery.

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