Hip labral tear


Just had a diagnosis of a hip labral tear, will have an mri scan with dye injected into the hip joint in the next few weeks to confirm, and assess the damage. I think a particulary hard track session contributed to this.

Looks like the arthroscopic surgery to repair is quite specialised, and I'm wondering if it is somehting that would be done on the NHS.

I've been told by  told by the sports injury specialist that plodding is ok, but no hill running or fast stuff. Cycling is ok too.

Anybody else suffered with this, and gone through the surgery ?  It would be useful to know what might be in store for later in the year




  • Hi Simon,

    I suffered a labral tear and osteitis pubis 2 years ago.  In fairness the labral tear was the least of my worries.  I saw a hip surgeon who was a good friend of mine so i asked him to shoot straight with me.  He said I'd need maybe a year away from football (but this was more due to the osteitis pubis).  He offered me a hip arthroscopy for the labral tear but I declined.

    Now, 2 years later, I have not played football since.  Too much twisting and turning - I resigned myself to the fact the boots are well and truly hung up.  BUT, with 2 years of religious daily exercise to improve my hip musculature/glutes etc I go to the gym 3 times a week and can squat pain free.  I do maybe 20k a week now and with no problems at all.  Recent MRI - still have the labral tear (obviously).

    So for me I didnt fancy any form of hip surgery at 30 years old (the surgery wasnt the problem - just didnt relish the thought of increased chances of hip osteoarthritis in the future).  But with a bit of activity modification I am pain free.  

    All the best mate - let us know what you decide and how you get on


  • Hi David

    Thanks for the reply. I think I'll get the scan done and take it from there. No racing for the forseeable future unfortunately



  • Had the MRI arthrogram done - I thought that they were meant to numb the area first - so it was fairly unpleasant, but at least I was able to walk home afterwards.

    Consultant said it was a anterior-superior labral tear.  Not sufficiently small to ignore, and has said no running and skiing or impact type things until I get it surgically repaired.  Either stiched back or cut out.

    Good thing is I can cycle lots to keep reasonably fit. Am hoping to get surgery done over the Summer and back to running next year fingers crossed.

  • Hi all - wish I had looked at this forum before I opted for arthroscopic surgery (to my left hip). To cut a long story short, I was diagnosed with trochanteric bursitis, ITB, femoral acetabular impingement and a labral tear. The procedure was carried out privately and highly promoted/recommended by my consultant.

    Prior to having the operation - I was still running 10 miles comfortably, dancing and participating in all my usual activities (not @ the same time;-)
    Apart from experiencing discomfort, the odd twinge - everything was fine. Now - 18 months later, I am still in pain and taking anti inflammatories. I have never been able to walk properly since the procedure was carried out and developed knee pain - so walk with a limp.

    It took the consultant over a year to admit that the operation had not been successful. Both hip surgeons (including a second referral), blamed my condition on arthritis - proposing a hip replacement. Now a hip replacement is the only option presented to me. I am 45. Strangely enough - the majority of people have commented that the medical profession are usually hesitant to offer hip replacements to anyone under 50. These consultants however, have not expressed any such concern.

    I've had physiotherapy throughout this period - and more recently acupuncture.

    Whilst I decide whether to opt for the hip replacement - as the last experience has left me with huge doubt, I've been working with a personal trainer intensively stretching and strengthening the surrounding muscles in the last couple of months - with the aim of finding an alternative solution. Although I've noticed a difference & my knee pain has significantly reduced, it's pretty much 'one step forward, two steps back'. I am able to cycle, swim, row and train in the gym. In hindsight - I should have taken this approach initially - like Sir David.

  • Dear LexC

    It's very sad to read your experiences, and I do hope you recvover and are able to get back to running.

     I too was promised a quick recoverery, with a high success rate for such an operation.  I do have extensive medical contacts - both family and friends and from what i gelaned from a friend who works at an orthopedic hospital, this is major surgery that should only be undertaken as a last resort.  After seing a consultant there he concluded the scans were rather inconclusive, might be a small labral tear, or it might not be. As I did not have symptoms at this point he suggested starting running again, and see how it went.

    Over a year on, I'm still runnng - get the occasional back problem, but that is about it.

     I'm wondering with this hip arthroscopy procedure, are there any success stories from athletes reading these forums?  I've not come accross any.  So the question arises, why is such a procedure  being recommended by some in the medical profession ?


  • PipesPipes ✭✭✭
    Reading this with interest while I await my surgery date for a hip arthroscopy. My problem is impingement with labral tear(s). For me, the only option is surgery, as the damage will get greater and the symptoms/ inability to run much will only continue. Sorry to hear of your problems and hoping some positive stories come along soon.
  • Hi,

    Crikey, this makes slightly scary reading. Ive been experiencing groin pain for a few years now, mostly a pinching but as no one managed to diagnose, it escalated. It's been something that I've been able to manage but gradually my running style became too funky and the left leg and the left side of my back are permanently tight. Sitting at work day in day out hasn't been much fun and running off road on soft group ain't no picnic either!

     Both groins pinch but the right is most painful and has been diagnosed with a labral tear, so I was wondering if anyone had experienced a tear on one side and tightness in the lower back, ITB and knee on the other? I really hope that someone has as I'm all out of possible causes.

    I've got to wait for an NHS op in Nov/Dec and obviously hope that the surgeon's work will help stabilise the pelvis. I've been doing the strength and stretching routine for a couple of years religiously and this now seems to be my last throw of the dice.


  • I have had right hip pain for the past 18 months, and reduced my running so that now I can only do about 5km a day max, previously running half marathons. I have been referred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, but the referring Dr thinks i probably have mild osteoarthritis, with a possibility of labral tear. The specialist I am going to see will hopefully make a final diagnosis. I get very sharp pain in my hip if my knee is suddenly rotated laterally. I was hoping that labral tear is the diagnosis rather than OA, and that arthroscopy might help or even fix it. My appt is on 15th August, so I will let you know how I get on.
  • Moderate to severe osteoarthritis in my right hip and left hip not far behind. So limited to 5k runs now with the prospect of hip replacement in a few years. Not going for the operation as the Specialist indicated it wasnt worth it.
  • More on this at this website.... after reading a lot about all of this now, surgery is sounding scary, the worst thing for me to hear would be that running is a  thing of the past, so am interested in hearing how people have coped? success stories? I am still going through the RW threads but the first one I found (before returning to RW) was this one, it has the good,  the bad and the ugly all in one place and spans over a year, so worth a read for anyone else searching for more info on this..


  • I have severe groin pain in my left hip.  Consultant suggests a labral tear with the option of a total hip replacement in a couple of years.  I'm scared!  I've run 20 marathons, numerous half marathons and all the usual 10k, 5k, cross country etc. but my hip is slowing me down on hills - both up and down.  I'm only 62 and really want to continue running.  What should I do?


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