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Both our shoulders and hips are ball-and-socket joints. This means that the top of the bone fits into a socket, allowing for range of motion.
A labral tear involves damage to the ring of cartilage — called the labrum — that follows the outside rim of your shoulder or hip socket.
In essence, the labrum is a “gasket” that keeps the ball of the bone in the socket, and provides for smooth and painless motion.
Labral tears to the shoulder are injuries to the ring of cartilage surrounding the shoulder socket. They occur either above or below the socket.
Risk factors that may cause shoulder labral tears include:
The hip joint includes the head of the femur (known as the ball) and the acetabulum (the socket) of the pelvis. The labrum is a rim of fibrocartilage that sits around the hip socket and helps to make the hip joint more stable by providing a sealing effect between the femur and socket. Additionally, it provides cushioning to the hip joint.
While a number of health problems can cause hip pain, many people confuse hip issues with any type of pain in the pelvic area. In reality, pain in the groin area is more indicative of a hip problem because the joint is close to the groin.
Most hip labral tears occur from an injury of force to a hyperextended hip, but they can also be caused by repetitive motions or body abnormalities like femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).
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Here are just a few of the reasons why:
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The symptoms of a labral tear in the shoulder socket can include:
Many individuals with hip labral tears have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may feel:
To help diagnose a labral tear in your shoulder or hip, your doctor will:
Your doctor may also order imaging tests, such as:
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Doctors at UPMC Orthopaedic Care may try some conservative treatments for a labral tear, before recommending surgery.
Conservative treatments for shoulder and hip labral tears often include:
If nonsurgical methods don't help your shoulder or hip labral tear, your doctor may suggest arthroscopic surgery.
During shoulder labral tear arthroscopy, your surgeon will examine the shoulder socket and the biceps tendon.
If you have a hip labral tear that hasn't improved after six weeks, your surgeon might suggest hip arthroscopy. The procedure is minimally invasive, and suited to people of any age.
During hip labral tear arthroscopy, your surgeon will insert a small camera through an incision and make all necessary repairs to your hip.
After shoulder labral tear arthroscopic surgery, expect to use a sling for three or four weeks during recovery.
Your doctor will also ask you to do light, painless exercises to build strength and range of motion in your shoulder. Athletes can expect to be doing sport-specific exercises about six weeks after surgery.
The full healing process after shoulder labral tear surgery can take up to four months.
Recovery time from hip labral tear arthroscopic surgery is much shorter than the open-hip method. Post-surgery rehab will increase your rate of a successful recovery.
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