What is a labral repair, and when is it usually required?

Written by: Mr Emeka Oragui
Edited by: Conor Lynch

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.

By Mr Emeka Oragui
Orthopaedic surgery

Mr Emeka Oragui is a highly reputable consultant orthopaedic hip surgeon who specialises in hip replacements, hip arthroscopy, minimally invasive hip surgery, hip fracture, hip prosthesis, hip revisions, complex hip replacement surgery, as well as trauma around the hip, amonst many other orthopaedic-related conditions and procedures. He currently practises at Chelsea and Westminister Hospital, King Edward VII's Hospital, The Lister Hospital, and Parkside Hospital. 

Mr Oragui successfully completed his medical studies at  Cambridge University and then The Royal Free and University College London Medical School. He then went on to undertake specialist orthopaedic training in London, followed by advanced fellowship training at St George and Westmead Hospital in Sydney and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford. His practice includes the minimally invasive Direct Anterior Approach for hip replacement, and he has an impressively extensive amount of experience with the use of robotic surgery

Mr Oragui has published widely in a number of peer-reviewed journals and has also presented his research at both national and international conferences. Mr Oragui read an MBA at the London Business School and is passionate about leadership, management and innovation within healthcare. Notably, he has, to-date, led on a number of successful service improvement projects within healthcare.

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