Hip Labrum Rehab
4 months after my hip started to bother me & 3 months after my MRI results of a posterosuperior labral tear, I still couldn't even do a fast walk without pain. Running again seemed completely out of reach.
But when I actually took inventory of what activities I could do more of, or the same amount with less pain, it was clear that there was some progress. It just seemed SO. GOSHDARN. SLOW.
And yet 2.5 years later, I have almost zero hip issues - and I’m running, squatting, biking, ALL of it!
I chalk that up to:
A very gradual rehab progression
Continued hip flexor, adductor & lateral hip strength into my routine Every. Single. Week.
Support from my team of physical therapists
A tear of the labrum in the hip often presents as anterior thigh or groin pain, pain with sitting & squatting, and may be associated with clicking or popping. This pain can come on suddenly if there's an acute trauma, or it can come on gradually as more of an "overuse"-type injury.
Some labral tears, however, present differently (ahem mine!). I experienced pain in the front of my thigh as well as the outside & back of my hip. I had a lot of trouble sitting, lying on the affected side to sleep, and walking. I did not experience any clicking, popping, or feelings of instability - so those may be helpful clues but don't have to be present with this kind of injury.
As far as optimal treatment, the jury is still out on this one. There's some evidence to suggest that conservative outcomes are similar to surgical a few years later - so I always, always encourage athletes with FAI and/or labral tears to go the conservative route first.
While doing that, I'd recommend surrounding oneself with a team who is reassuring & supportive through the highs & lows - cuz it’s gonna be a rollercoaster.
Check out the videos below to see a few of the exercises I did (and pretty much the only ones I could do) the first few weeks of labrum rehab - you can see I stayed within tiiiny ranges of motion to keep pain at low to moderate levels.
If you've been diagnosed with a hip labral tear and wondering what's next for you, know that you're not alone and you're not doomed to have surgery. Reach out & let's chat about your options!