If you've been diagnosed with an acetabular labral tear, your doctor will probably start with conservative treatment. He or she may recommend using painkillers and resting the hip. However, it’s unclear how well this approach works in the long run. Most of the labrum gets little to no blood flow, making natural healing difficult or even impossible.
Physical therapy may help an acetabular labral tear. You can learn to avoid putting too much pressure on the joint while building muscle strength.
If you've dislocated a joint, you can usually tell by looking at the joint that it's not right. The joint will look deformed compared to the same joint on the opposite side. You may see an indention or a bulge near or in the socket. You will have severe pain and will not be able to move that part of the shoulder, arm, or leg.
In many cases, the force of the injury stretches or tears the ligaments that hold the bone inside the joint and the bone is no longer seated properly in the joint.
If conservative measures don’t work, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery. This is a minimally invasive approach. The doctor will guide several small tools, including a camera, to the site through two or three incisions. Usually, the torn tissue is removed, but in some cases the tear is repaired.
As with any surgery, there are risks, including nerve damage. This side effect is usually temporary.
Surgery usually provides short-term improvement. But experts aren’t sure how long the effects last. Surgery is less likely to be successful in people who already have other problems in the hip like arthritis or hip dysplasia. Following surgery, you will need physical therapy to rebuild strength and flexibility.
Since the success of surgery for an acetabular labral tear is by no means certain, talk over the pros and cons with your doctor. You may also want to get a second opinion.