In one of our latest articles here, Mr Emeka Oragui, a revered consultant orthopaedic surgeon, walks us through what a labral repair is, when it is typically required, and what recovery from it entails.
What exactly is a labral repair of the hip joint?
A labral repair is a surgical procedure that involves repairing the labrum, a ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip joint. The normal labrum helps create a suction seal to the hip joint which is essential for stability and lubrication, and contributes to the long-term health of the hip joint. Damage to the labrum can result in pain and can also lead to an early onset of arthritis.
When is it required?
A labral repair may be required if the labrum is damaged or torn. This can occur due to trauma or due to repetitive stress or overuse. In addition to repairing the labrum, the surgeon may need to shave down any bony prominences in the hip joint that may be contributing to the labral tear.
Who is the ideal candidate for this operation?
The ideal candidate for a labral repair is someone who has a torn or damaged labrum that is causing them pain and instability in the hip joint. In order to determine if a labral repair is appropriate, a healthcare provider will typically perform a physical examination and may also order imaging tests, such as an MRI, to diagnose the extent of the damage to the labrum.
How long does surgery typically take? Is it painful?
The length of labral repair surgery can vary, but it typically takes between one to two hours to complete. The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia, so the patient will be asleep during the surgery.
Pain after the surgery can vary from person to person, but most people experience some pain and discomfort for the first few days after the procedure. Pain can be managed with pain medication prescribed by the healthcare provider.
What won’t I be able to do after a labral repair?
After a labral repair, you may need to avoid certain activities for anywhere between three and six weeks that could put strain on the repair, such as deep flexion and outward movements of the hip known as abduction. You will work with a physiotherapist to gradually strengthen the hip and restore range of motion.
Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions on what activities to avoid and when you can gradually resume your normal activities. It is important to follow these instructions and allow your hip to heal properly for the best outcome and to avoid re-injury.
To book an appointment with Mr Emeka Oragui, make sure to visit his Top Doctors profile today.