Both your hips and your shoulders are ball-and-socket joints, which is why each joint has a labrum — a ring of cartilage that rims the socket to keep the joint stable. As with any component in a joint, when you incur damage in your labral tissue, the result can leave you in pain and limit your joint’s function.

As specialists in orthopedics and sports medicine, the team here at Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine has seen its fair share of labrum issues. To help you better recognize when there’s a problem with your labrum, we outline the five most common signs in both your shoulders and your hips.

Signs of a hip labral tear

Your hip joint is where your femur (thighbone) attaches to your pelvis in a ball-and-socket configuration in which the femoral head acts as the ball and your hip bone houses the socket, which is also called the acetabulum.

The labrum covers the inside of the socket and forms a ridge around the perimeter, which helps keep your femur in place while preventing the two bony structures from rubbing together.

There are several roads to a hip labral tear, including a structural issue called femoroacetabular impingement, in which the ball doesn’t fit properly inside the socket. Outside of this issue, you can also incur a hip labral tear due to an acute injury or from degenerative processes and overuse.

As a result of a hip labral tear, you may experience these five issues:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • A clicking or locking in your hip joint
  • Discomfort when you put pressure on the joint (think sleeping on your side)
  • Loss of steadiness on your feet

If any of these symptoms sounds familiar, we urge you to come in so we can properly diagnose the problem through advanced imaging.

Signs of a torn labrum in your shoulder

Your shoulders are inherently unstable ball-and-socket joints, which is what allows your arms such a wide range of motion. Your shoulder joint connects your upper arm (humerus) to your shoulder blade (scapula). The top of your humerus features a ball that fits into the glenoid socket located in your shoulder blade.

Helping to keep the joint stable and to provide easy motion within your shoulder, the socket is covered with a soft piece of cartilage called the labrum. This tissue usually tears or becomes damaged due to repetitive stress or injury.

The top-five signs of a torn labrum in your shoulder include:

  • Pain with certain movements, such as raising your arm overhead
  • A deep ache in your shoulder
  • Popping, catching, or grinding in your shoulder
  • Weakness in your shoulder
  • A feeling of instability

Here again, to determine the cause of your shoulder symptoms, it’s best that you come see us for a definitive diagnosis.

Treating labrum tears

One of the issues when it comes to treating labral tears is that the tissue doesn’t enjoy a good blood supply, which means it can’t readily repair itself. So if the tear is great, many people choose to have surgery.

Here at our practice, we want to provide this connective tissue with the resources it needs to heal on its own, without resorting to surgery. To accomplish this, we turn to regenerative medicine services, which include:

These advanced techniques work with your body to help it heal from within for more sustainable results. We also recommend coupling these treatments with physical therapy, which helps to build strength in your joint.

If you suspect you have a torn labrum, please contact our office in Westfield, New Jersey, so that we can get you back on the road to better joint health.

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