Arthroscopic Hip Labral Repair

The hip is a ball and socket joint where the ball is formed by the upper end of the thigh bone (femur) and the socket is formed by the acetabulum, a cavity in the pelvic bone. The acetabulum is lined by smooth cartilage that forms a rim around the socket as an elevated ridge called the labrum. The labrum increases the depth of the socket, providing stability to the hip joint and attachment for muscles. A labral tear may occur as a result of a sports injury, accident or structural abnormality, causing pain and limiting movement of the hip. Arthroscopic hip labral repair is a procedure performed to repair a labral tear.

The arthroscopic procedure is performed using a narrow tube with a camera, called an arthroscope. Small incisions are made over your hip to reach the damaged labrum. The arthroscope is inserted through one of the incisions to provide your doctor with a clear view of the damage. Miniature instruments are then inserted through the other incisions to repair the tear. Depending on the extent and position of the tear, the labrum may be repaired with sutures (refixation) or the torn portion removed (debridement).

Following arthroscopic hip labral repair, you may be advised against bearing weight on the operated hip. Within the first few weeks of surgery, rehabilitation is introduced to help you heal and recover completely. Your physical therapist will design specific exercises to minimize pain and inflammation, improve flexibility, mobilization and range-of-motion, and strengthening of the hip. By week 12 you will be able to safely return to sports activities.

As with any surgery, arthroscopic hip labral repair may be associated with certain complications such as injury to surrounding blood vessels and nerves, infection and blood clots in the legs.