Hip labral tears or damage causes pain and discomfort in your hip area but is often hard to pinpoint where the exact pain is coming from.
There is not a question as to if you’re having hip pain. But what is the cause? There are a number of pathologies that are very common to hip challenges.
The obvious ones would be the result of trauma or injury. The damage can range from articular cartilage damage to labral tears.
The damage may lead to arthritis. But the ravages of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis do not require an injury to precede the onset of hip pain symptoms. It just may be a result of degeneration and inflammation associated with these conditions.
If you have swollen or aggravated and inflamed lining of your joints (synovium) then this may be the source of your pain as well as it may be trochanteric bursitis.
Yet, once you’re diagnosed with a hip labral tear you can move forward with making the decision as to what is the best method of treatment for you.
What Is The Hip Labrum?
The labrum is a special type of cartilage that goes around the socket of your ball-and-socket joints. Your “ball-and-socket” components of the joint, includes the acetabulum, a bowl-shaped indentation in the pelvis that is the receptacle or the rounded top of the thigh bone, called the femoral head.
The labrum helps to form a protective barrier that is in a ring around the bony edges of the socket of the joint. All cartilage has a stabilizing aspect so it helps to stabilize your joint and it allows for flexibility.
The amount of pressure placed on the hip joints is tremendous. We place 1 and 1/2 times our body weight on our hips with each step you take. And that force is multiple when you’re running. Plus, if you’re carrying more weight than you’d like then the hip joint is taking a significant accumulative amount of pounding on an everyday basis.
Fortunately ounce for ounce bone is stronger than steel. But the cartilage that is buffering our bones are the shock absorbers and the pounding can take its toll either over a period of time or as a result of an injury.
How Does Your Hip Labrum Tear Happen?
Hip labral injuries may occur from a fall or a joint getting twisted awkwardly. These are trauma-induced tears. The other type of hip labrum injury is often due to the degenerative process. The wear and tear over the years may allow for the hip labrum to be prone to tear.
The degenerative process may lead to arthritis. If you continue to tear your hip labrum multiple times, then it may be an indication of early stages of hip arthritis. Labral tears are mostly known for the shoulder and the surgical techniques that are used for the shoulder did not always translate for hip injuries until recently.
But stem cell therapy is a non-invasive powerful option.
Symptoms To Watch For That May Mean You Have A Labral Tear.
If you have a catching or popping sensation in your hip and a radiating pain that may burn or just ache depending on how your hip is positioned then you just may have a torn or damaged hip labrum.
In addition, if your range of motion is limited in your hip and the restriction is accompanied by the clicking or snapping sound then a labral tear may be the cause.
The diagnosis is complicated by the fact that many of the symptoms are also symptoms of injuries such as a groin strain, sports hernia, or other athletic injuries of the hip joint including snapping hip syndrome.
How To Make The Determination Your Hip Labrum Is Torn.
X-rays and an MRI with contrast fluid is the most efficient method.
How To Treat Hip Labral Tears.
Traditional treatments included but were not limited to:
- Surgery-Hip arthroscopy
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications
- Cortisone shots
- Physical Therapy
- 6-12 weeks off with low use of the hip
If this layer is torn then the hip protection is compromised. The catching of the joint, as well as the pain, is a tale-tale sign that the labrum may be injured, but not a sure sign that you must have surgery.
The body will obviously try to heal the tear, and physical therapy may provide additional help.
Too many times there is a rush to surgery and with the advent of arthroscopic surgery, there are some schools of thought that feels this may have lead to a number of unnecessary surgeries due to the convenience and ease of performing this type of surgery.
The portion of the labrum that is damaged is often removed via arthroscopic surgery. The removal is often the path because of the difficulty in getting the labrum to stitch together in such a fashion that will actually hold.
The damaged flap may be removed and this will allow for the ‘catching’ to hopefully be resolved. But the portion that is removed actually further compromises the labrum and obviously leaves the hip joint with less protection.
The instability, even if it is ever so slightly less stable as a result of the surgical removal of the torn portion of the labrum may have a cascading negative impact especially if you have arthritis in your hip joint. The damage will continue to wear and increase and it is a race to the inevitable more surgery and possibly even hip replacement.
Typically when you have arthroscopic surgery it is now done as an outpatient surgery. You will likely still have to risk the dangers of general anesthesia. The device is inserted into a small incision and the surgeon will be able to see via a tiny camera and light that is inserted into the incision.
You’ll have multiple small incisions and the doctor will insert surgical instruments required to snip off the damaged tissue and if necessary suture any interior damages caused by the instruments. After extracting any body tissue the incisions are sutured. Not all damages are able to be addressed by this type of surgery. And once again it should be noted that surgery will lessen the strength of the joint and most often leads to additional problems in the very near future.
Side Effects & Risks Of Labral Tear Surgeries
Fortunately, the large majority of labrum surgeries don’t have side effects.
This should be distinguished from the thought that just because they may not have side effects, that they
may not be getting the intended results either. In other words, surgery is not always successful.
Anytime there is a surgical procedure that requires anesthsia there is a very real risk.
Patients that are older experience more complications from the anesthesia, but regardless of age, the complications
associated with anesthesia can be significant. There is a very real reason you must sign off on the reality that you
can go into surgery and not make it out. This is not a side effect. This is a fact.
The list of side effects is long, but the most common are:
- Worsening of the condition
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Nerve damage leading to numbness (irritation of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve)
- Nerve damage leading to tingling
- Nerve damage leading to increased pain
- Cartilage damage leading to snapping hip syndrome symptoms
- Post Intensive care syndrome
- Blood clot
- Worsening arthritis
- Blood vessel damages
- Complications due to anesthesia
Platelet-rich Plasma Injection -PRP Injection for Hip Labral Pain
Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood. It is made up of mostly water and proteins and it’s the medium for your blood cells to be able to travel throughout your body. This includes your white and red blood cells.
Most people know that platelets (also called thrombocytes) are the blood cells that help to form blood clots to stop a wound from bleeding as well as they also do other growth and healing functions within your body. They play a vital role in your body healing itself.
To help your hip to have a better environment to heal and respond to stem cells it is not uncommon for doctors to have you receive a PRP injection in addition to the stem cells.
Blood is drawn from your arm and put into a centrifuge to spin the concentrated portion of platelet-rich plasma and then the injection is made in addition to the stem cells to provide a combination to help your body have the building blocks to regenerate along with the elements to help heal.
Patients often share the combination is very effective. PRP has been a treatment provided for a very long time to elite athletes to help them recover faster and heal from injuries.
Stem cell therapy has proven to be a viable option vs surgery. The regenerative cell therapy helps to reduce the inflammation as well as may allow for the regeneration of the labrum. The cost for the treatment pales in significance to the dangers of surgeries and the long term side effects associated with the surgical option.
The introduction of stem cell therapy promises to change the number of people having to deal with the burdens associated with the traditional hip labral treatments including the risks associated with surgery and the addiction risks that come with the painkillers prescribed after surgery.
Stem cell therapy may be a viable option. Get the details about how this has helped hip pain for thousands of people including hip labral tears.