If you follow sports, you have probably heard the term “labral tear” a time or two as many high profile athletes have endured this injury.
The labrum is a thick ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder and hip socket. It provides stability to the joint by increasing the depth of the socket which helps to keep the head of the arm bone or thigh bone in its proper position.
In addition to stabilizing the hip joint, the hip labrum also helps to seal in joint fluid, minimizing friction within the joint.
Diagnosing A Tear
When tearing the labrum, dislocation and other joint disorders are likely. Sports such as baseball, volleyball, and tennis, which involve repetitive motions are known to cause labrum tears in the shoulder. Football, soccer, and ice hockey, however, are known to cause a labrum tear in their hip. Diagnosing this kind of tear is not an easy task and requires extensive diagnostics as well as an in-depth physical exam.
Shoulder Symptoms to Watch Out For
- Deep aching pain inside the shoulder. You may feel pain in the back of the shoulder. If the biceps tendon is involved, the pain may be felt in the front of the shoulder.
- Pain with overhead shoulder motion.
- Popping, clicking, or grinding with shoulder motion.
- A weakness of the shoulder joint.
Hip Symptoms to Watch Out For
- Deep pain within the hip joint. This may be accompanied by radiating pain in the lower back, side of the hip, top of the hamstrings, glutes, etc.
- A clicking or locking sensation in the hip.
- Stiffness and limited range of motion of the hip.
- A weakness of the hip joint.
If a labral tear does not receive prompt treatment, the tear can increase, catch on the torn labrum between articulating surfaces, lose fluid in the joint, cause increase friction as well as deterioration of the joint. When athletes hear a tear, they may think that their career is over, however, with new advances in arthroscopic medicine, and timely diagnosis, most athletes will have a successful outcome with shorter recovery times.