Common questions about the labrum
- Posted on: Mar 19 2018
A few years ago, New York native Lady Gaga disappointed and worried her “Little Monsters” when she canceled her remaining tour dates due to a health issue. Although she tried to keep things hush-hush for a time, the truth eventually came out and it was revealed that she had severely damaged her hip, leading to an inability to comfortably perform. It seems the performer had a labral tear, a particularly painful hip injury. Some wondered how a hip injury could happen to someone so young (aka: not a senior citizen). The simple truth is that labral tears are pretty common among young and middle-aged adults, particularly among athletes and others who are often on the move.You might be one of them. Here are some basics about the labrum to keep in mind.
If you’re not familiar with the idea of a labral tear, it’s important to first understand where the labrum is located and how it functions. This soft cartilage lines the rim of a hip socket and is easy to tear when the body is exposed to repetitive movements or a traumatic injury. In the case of Lady Gaga, it could be that she was moving frequently on stage or was simply wearing down her joints in other ways. As with others who experience this type of tear, it’s likely that her symptoms included sharp pain and possible clicking during movement. Thankfully, there are various strategies for overcoming this type of injury, and working to repair damage can help prevent or delay the onset of arthritis later in life.
One option for treating the labral tear is rest and physical therapy. This could include a series of stretches, workouts or lifestyle modifications. If a body does not respond to these strategies with time, surgical treatment is a practical and realistic solution, including among my patients. The most reliable surgery for a torn labrum is an arthroscopy to repair or trim the damaged area and shave any bony spurs or bumps that have built up and threaten to cause irreversible degenerative arthritis. One of the best things about an arthroscopy is its minimally invasive approach that requires smaller incisions and has a quicker healing time than more traditional surgical approaches. As a member of the Joint Preservation Center, I have significant experience in this technique and have helped lead research to develop more efficient and effective methods of care.
Whether you’re a famous pop star or just an average Joe, being diagnosed with a labral tear can be a big bummer and can interrupt your day-to-day activities. Fortunately, a torn labrum is certainly possible to recover from. If you have questions about your hip, including your risk of a labral tear or how to best heal after one occurs, don’t hesitate to connect with us for answers. I take your health seriously and want to help you have the healthiest hips possible to do the things you love everyday.
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