The hip is a ball-in-socket joint that is designed to be stable and move smoothly within a limited range. The socket, which is part of the pelvic bone, has a ring of soft gristle-like cartilage known as the “labrum”, which functions as a gasket, and helps keep the ball (head of the femur or thigh bone) in place. Acute injuries to the labrum can occur with twisting type activities of the hip, commonly seen in sports like hockey, gymnastics and ballet. Labral tears are commonly associated with hip arthritis in older individuals, impingement and traumatic injury, and are not always the cause of hip pain.

Patients usually complain of pain in the hip or groin area, associated with specific hip motions and positions. A painful catching sensation may be felt, and difficulty with activities like dancing, squatting or cutting sports may be experienced.
The diagnosis is typically made by a combination of the patient’s history, the findings on physical examination and x-ray evaluation, which is important in defining the anatomy, as well as a contrast-enhanced MRI scan or arthrogram.
The treatment approach depends on the symptoms experienced by the patient, as his/her age and activity level, the pattern of the tear, and whether or not arthritis is present in the hip. Conservative options include rest, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections which have a diagnostic and therapeutic value. For patients with persistent pain and/or functional limitations, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery of the hip can be considered. Surgery involves trimming the torn segment of the labrum or performing a labral repair, depending on the arthroscopic findings, and other factors. Often, additional associated arthroscopic procedures, like acetabuloplasty and femoroplasty are necessary to address associated lesions and ensure surgical success.

At Oceana Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Dr. Aboka will thoroughly evaluate your hip condition and discuss your options. If surgery is indicated, Dr. Aboka specializes in minimally invasive, Hip Arthroscopy and Labral Repair Surgery, to facilitate your return to pain-free function. This procedure is outpatient/same-day surgery, and leads to improvement or resolution of pain, and minimal scarring and quicker recovery.