Labral Tear (Snapping Hip)
The labrum is a structure that serves like a gasket seal of cartilage around the hip socket. It provides some stability to the joint, but perhaps more importantly serves to maintain the normal fluid in the joint. A tear in the labrum can be caused by injury or overuse and can lead to pain and “catching” of the joint.
While many labral tears can be treated by managing pain symptoms and undergoing physical therapy, as well as injections in the joint, some cases require surgical treatment. Labral repair surgery re-attaches the tissue to the acetabulum (cup side of the joint) using sutures which are inside small anchors that are drilled into the bone. Most of these procedures are performed through arthroscopy. Larger tears may require an open procedure. In some cases, a labral reconstruction is necessary. This occurs when the labral tissue that is remaining after a tear and subsequent clean-up is so deficient or non-existent, that the labral seal is lost. In these cases the reconstruction will use some local tissue from the side of the thigh and turn it into labral tissue by inserting it into the hip joint and attaching with the use of suture anchors that are typically used for the repair of the labrum.
Labral repair surgery is usually effective in treating these tears and restoring full movement and strength. Recovery time depends on the type of procedure but usually takes several months.