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Labral Tear Specialist

Joshua D. Harris, MD -  - Orthopaedic Surgery

Joshua D. Harris, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery located in Houston, TX

Labral tears can cause hip pain, catching or clicking in the hip, and difficulty exercising or playing sports. Most labral tears are caused by hip impingement (FAI; femoroacetabular impingement). To get a reliable diagnosis and effective treatment, see orthopedic hip specialist, Joshua D. Harris, MD. Located in Houston, Dr. Harris is one of the few experts in the area specializing in labral tear diagnosis and repair. To get specialist care for your hip pain, call the office or schedule a visit online today.

Labral Tear Q & A

What is a labral tear?

The labrum is a fibrocartilage rim “gasket seal” that surrounds the socket of your hip and adds stability to your hip joint. The labrum keeps the ball suctioned in the socket. It is responsible for sealing the joint and protecting it from forces when walking, running, and standing. If the labrum tears, it can cause:

  • Pain in the front or side of the hip and groin
  • Pain with walking, pivoting, and high-impact movements, like sports
  • Catching, clicking, or locking sensation in the hip
  • Pain that’s worse at night
  • Hip stiffness or tightness

Instability of the hip, with fear of “giving out” or “giving way” Labral tears may cause pain that fluctuates between mild to moderate to severe pain, though chronic, mild-to-moderate pain is common.

What causes labral tears?

Labral tears are caused by a variety of factors, most commonly caused by hip impingement (FAI; femoroacetabular impingement), trauma, or wear-and-tear. Common causes include:

  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
  • Rotational hip movements, common during soccer, dance, hockey, and golf
  • Repetitive forces on the hip
  • Sports injuries
  • Dysplasia of the hip
  • Direct trauma to the hip joint
  • Car accidents

Labral tears can occur in people of all ages. In younger individuals, there is likely a history of sports injuries, trauma, or structural abnormalities of the hip. Older individuals are more likely to experience labral tears after overuse for many years.

How are labral tears diagnosed?

To diagnose a labral tear, Dr. Harris begins with a consultation and physical exam. He asks about your symptoms, the severity and location of your pain, and activities that aggravate your condition. During your exam, Dr. Harris assesses the range of motion of your joint and the function of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves in and around the hip area.

Dr. Harris also performs specialized orthopedic tests to assess the function and mobility of your hip. He looks for signs of popping, clicking, and catching that may signify a labral tear. After your exam, Dr. Harris orders X-rays and an MRI to visualize the anatomical structures in your hip.

Based on your exam, Dr. Harris diagnoses your condition and explains treatment options.

How are labral tears treated?

For most cases of labral tears, Dr. Harris recommends a minimally invasive hip arthroscopy procedure. During the procedure, Dr. Harris repairs the labrum and does not remove it. The reason for the labral tear (most commonly hip impingement) is also corrected at the same time during the same operation through the same incisions. The entire surgery takes about one and a half to two hours. The operation is normally an outpatient procedure, generally coming in and going home on the same day. Outpatient physical therapy usually begins within the first day or two following surgery. Afterward, you recover with active physical therapy for about three months before returning to your normal activities.

Dr. Harris is one of very few surgeons in the United States and the only surgeon in Houston to perform “postless” hip arthroscopy, which eliminates the risk of perineal pain, pudendal nerve injury, and a variety of other traction-related complications that are not uncommon during and after hip arthroscopy. Dr. Harris performs over 300 arthroscopic hip surgeries per year and has performed over 1,500 in his career.

Get your hip pain diagnosed and treated by Joshua D. Harris, MD, by calling or scheduling a consultation online now.