Can I Recover from a Hip Labral Tear Without Surgery?

hip labral tear recover

Suffering from pain or weakness in your hip? Fortunately, most hip labral tears can be effectively treated without surgery.

Depending on the severity of the injury, a hip labral tear can be a serious condition, leading to joint instability and the possibility of future injuries down the road. It is caused by a rupture in the acetabular labrum, the cartilage that lines the socket of the hip joint. A tear in the labrum can be the result of damage over time, a sudden traumatic injury, or an underlying issue like hip dysplasia.

A hip labral tear won’t heal on its own, but the condition often responds well to conservative treatments like physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Here’s how to recognize the symptoms of a hip labral tear and determine which treatment option is right for you.


A hip labral tear may be the product of an underlying condition such as hip impingement, which occurs when the head of the femur and the socket of the hip pinch the labrum, causing friction in the area. Repetitive movements, such as running or twisting motions, are common causes of hip labral tears in athletes. A sudden injury or trauma from a hip dislocation can also cause the labrum to rupture. The condition is especially common in elderly patients, as the hip joint may weaken over time.

The symptoms of a hip labral tear include stiffness, impeded range of motion, and locking or catching of the hip joint as you move. Patients may experience pain in the front of the hip and groin, as well as pain that radiates down the buttocks. This condition can also cause a feeling of instability or weakness in the affected area. These symptoms may ultimately affect your posture and gait.


Because cartilage cells cannot repair themselves, a hip labral tear needs assistance in the healing process. An orthopedic specialist can introduce simple conservative treatments to provide pain relief and help patients return to normal activities. Effective non-surgical solutions include rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication.

Most patients with hip labral tears don’t need surgery, but injuries that don’t respond to conservative methods may require minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. To perform this procedure, your orthopedic surgeon will make small incisions into the skin and insert micro-instruments into the area. He or she will repair the damaged cartilage, re-attaching it to the bone to ensure the joint’s stability. If the tear is caused by an underlying genetic condition, your surgeon may also reshape or resurface the hip to prevent future injury.

After the procedure, most patients can return to low-impact activities immediately. However, in the weeks following your surgery, you should avoid putting pressure on the joint. It’s also important to follow a physical therapy regimen designed to rebuild your muscles and improve your flexibility. You can expect to make a full recovery within eight to twelve weeks.

If you’re suffering from a hip labral tear, don’t wait to get help — set up an appointment with a top-rated orthopedic specialist like Dr. Rupesh Tarwala. Dr. Tarwala and his colleagues at New York Bone & Joint Specialists are experts at treating hip injuries through both conservative and surgical methods. Working with an on-site team of physical therapists, the specialists at New York Bone & Joint will help you through every step of the recovery process. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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