The hip joint is formed by the connection of the femur (thigh bone) and the pelvis. The top end of the femur is spherically shaped and sits in a cup-shaped socket in the pelvis called the acetabulum, forming a “ball and socket” joint. Because of the configuration of this joint, there is a lot mobility at the hip joint and strong structures are needed to hold it in place.
A labrum is one type of structure that contributes to the stability of the hip joint. It is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket portion of the joint and helps to hold the head of the femur tightly in place. Tears in the labrum can lead to instability and pain in the joint, affecting function and gait. It may be treated with conservative measures, like physical therapy, or may require surgery to repair the labrum, depending on the severity of the tear.
- A locking or catching feeling in the hip with certain movements
- Pain in the hip joint with walking, squatting, or stairs
- Weakness in the hip region
- Falls or other traumatic injuries
- Certain types of sports or repetitive activities that strain the hip joint (e.g cycling, running, ballet, yoga)
PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR HIP LABRAL TEAR
Your physical therapist will first assess your hip for joint restrictions, muscular tightness, and weakness of the hip muscles. At the start of each therapy session, your therapist may use joint mobilization techniques to improve range of motion of the hip joint and massage and stretch tight muscles around the hip.
You will also be instructed in specific stretches and exercises. Strengthening the muscles in the trunk and pelvic region will increase dynamic stability and take pressure of the joint. By correcting mechanics of the hip joint, these exercises can help prevent the labral tear from getting worse over time. By adhering to a consistent therapy program over the course of a few months, you will able to gradually return to your previous activities under the careful guidance of your therapist.