Labral Tears and FAI

What are labral tears?

The labrum is a band of cartilage and connective tissue that runs around the rim of the hip socket. It acts as a cushion for the hip joint and helps keep the ball of the hip joint in the socket. A labral tear describes an injury to the labrum.

A labral tear can occur for many reasons such as:

  • falls
  • car accidents
  • sports injuries (especially with sports that require regular hip rotation eg golf, soccer)
  • ballet
  • sprinting

In most cases, there is no obvious cause. Tears may just develop gradually over time. When tears do occur they tend not to heal well on their own and can lead to permanent damage to the hip joint.

What are the symptoms of labral tears?

Some people with labral tears have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur they commonly include:

  • groin pain
  • a catching or clicking sensation in the hip when your move your leg
  • stiffness or reduced mobility of your hip

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What does your doctor look for?

Your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical examination that will include an assessment of how your hip moves and functions.

What investigations are needed?

Your doctor may request an X-ray to look for any damage to the bones of the hip joints that can occur with a labral tear.

To look at the cartilage and connective tissue of the labrum, other imaging may be needed such as an MRI.

What is the treatment for labral tears?

Treatments include:

  • non-drug therapy (eg physiotherapy)
  • medications (eg anti-inflammatories)
  • injections
  • surgery (eg arthroscopy)

Our specialists at Orthopaedic Clinics Gold Coast will work with you to create the best treatment plan for your particular situation.

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

What is FAI?

FAI stands for femoroacetabular impingement. It describes a condition where some extra bone grows on one or both of the two bones that make up the hip joint: the femur (ball) and the acetabulum (the socket). The extra bone stops the hip joint bones fitting together perfectly and prevents the joint moving smoothly.

FAI may occur if the hip bones do not develop normally during childhood.

What are the symptoms of FAI?

Some people with FAI never have any problems. When symptoms do occur, they include:

  • groin or outer hip pain – which may be sharp and stabbing with turning or twisting movements
  • stiffness
  • limping

What does your doctor look for?

Your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical examination that will include an assessment of how your hip moves and functions. Part of this assessment is likely to be the impingement test, which involves you lying on your back and your doctor bringing your knee up towards your chest and then rotating it toward the opposite shoulder.

What investigations are needed?

Your doctor may request imaging tests to look for extra bone and signs of arthritis. Types of imaging include X-ray, CT or MRI.

What is the treatment for FAI?

Treatments include:

  • non-drug therapy (eg activity changes and physiotherapy)
  • medications (eg anti-inflammatories)
  • surgery (eg arthroscopy)

Our specialists at Orthopaedic Clinics Gold Coast will work with you to create the best treatment plan for your particular situation.