While you may enjoy your daily run, the constant movement placed on the ligaments holding your hips in place may become damaged over time. A sudden injury, like falling on steps or being tackled on the football field, also places enough stress on your ligaments to cause a labral tear. Ligaments called labrals are tough bands of tissue in your hips and shoulders. When they’re torn, it can lead to pain and loss of mobility. The doctors at Redefine Healthcare in northern New Jersey are experts at diagnosing and treating labral tears, so call to get effective treatment as soon as possible to avoid long-term problems.
A labral tear is an injury to the labrum, which is a band of cartilage that lines the outside rim of your hip’s ball-and-socket joint. The labrum helps keep the joints in place. Your shoulders and hips are ball-and-socket joints, which means the top of one bone fits into a socket in the other to allow for range of motion in many directions.
Participating in sports is part of an active and healthy lifestyle, but doing a lot of sharp or repetitive motions may result in a hip labral tear or a shoulder labral tear. At Redefine Healthcare, medical professionals can find out what’s causing the joint pain or instability you’re experiencing and provide expert labral tear treatment in northern New Jersey. Visit one of the four convenient locations in Union, Paterson, Edison or Clifton.
Labral Tear Causes
Labral tears are often caused by trauma to the joint, which may be triggered by a car accident, fall or sports injury. In many cases, rather than being triggered by a single incident, tears develop gradually because of repetitive irritation to the joint. Participating in contact sports such as hockey, wrestling or football can cause a hip labral tear, but so can overuse, repetitive arm movements, sudden twisting or a blow to your shoulder or hip.
Joint dislocation, called subluxation, can happen because of awkward, sudden or improper movements. These events are often accompanied by labral tears.
Structural problems that lead to abnormal hip movements may cause reduced range of motion and a gradual tear of the labrum. A prior injury or existing problem with your hip, such as hip impingement or osteoarthritis, increases the risk of having a hip labral tear.
Symptoms of a Labral Tear
A labral tear isn’t always easy to recognize or diagnose because the symptoms resemble other injuries, such as a muscle strain. Some symptoms you may experience include:
- Pain in your hip and lower back that also leads to leg or knee pain
- Stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint and upper back pain
- Clicking or locking sounds
- A catching sensation in the damaged joint
- A decreased range of motion
The pain of a labral tear may keep you up at night. If the tear involves the hip area, you may have severe pain in your buttocks or groin area, as well as feeling unsteady on your feet. The pain may worsen when you walk, rotate the joint or try to play sports. It’s also possible to have a labral tear, but have no symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatment of a Labral Tear
Your doctor examines your hip or shoulder and checks your range of motion. Imaging tests such as an MRI can help diagnose a labral tear. Labral tear treatment depends on the severity of the injury. Shoulder and hip labral tear treatment usually starts with rest to help the inflammation settle down. Other treatment options include:
- Physical therapy. Exercises to stretch or strengthen the muscles surrounding your hip or shoulder can improve your range of motion and relieve pain. Learning proper ways to move reduces your chances of experiencing another tear.
- Medication. Drugs sold over the counter help reduce pain and inflammation. These medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen and ibuprofen. You may be able to obtain some pain relief with acetaminophen or aspirin. Your pain management doctor may provide you with prescription pain relievers for a short time if the pain is severe.
- Corticosteroid injection. An injection of a corticosteroid into the joint temporarily relieves pain, giving the soft tissues time to heal painlessly.
- Surgery. If your symptoms aren’t relieved with conservative treatments, your doctor may consider surgery. This is typically done arthroscopically, which is a minimally invasive procedure.
If you’ve had a shoulder or hip injury, or you’re experiencing persistent pain in your joints, the experts at Redefine Healthcare can evaluate your condition and provide the best treatment options for you. Getting specialized medical care lets you resume your active lifestyle as soon as possible. Don’t risk permanent disability when early intervention can save you years of discomfort. Contact the talented pain management pros today.
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