Do Hip Labral Tears Matter with Hip Impingement?
People who’ve been told they have FAI also often have been told that their labrums are “shredded up” or “badly damaged” or something similarly scary sounding.
When you read articles on the internet, it seems like labral tears have been definitively shown to cause hip pain and that nothing but surgery could possibly help you.
What you don’t often see is a crucial piece of information. Scientific research shows little to no link between labral tears and hip pain or mobility problems.
In fact, doctors who keep up with recent research will tell you that there is not a strong correlation between a hip labral tear and pain. Labral tears are believed to cause pain, but many people with labral tears have absolutely no symptoms at all. This study provides a clear example of people with labral tears and NO hip problems.
And here is another study as a great example of how many things can be found in an MRI when no actual problems are being caused by those alleged “pathological” issues.
This third study also found a high prevalence of labral tears in asymptomatic people and concludes that some of the alleged “pathologies” should be seen as just natural anatomic variations.
In addition, surgery for hip labral tears barely produces better results than low-quality physical therapy.
In short, there is no strong evidence that hip labral tears lead to or are even related to hip pain. Multiple studies show no link between labral tears and symptoms. And research shows that hip labral tear surgeries don't even produce good results.
For a detailed look at hip labral tear research, see Hip Labral Tears: Everything You Need to Know About Hip Pain, Injections, Surgery, and Functional Training Solutions
There Is Still Hope with a Hip Labral Tear
Kristen was diagnosed with FAI, labral tears, and “degeneration” in her spine in her mid-20s. She was literally crippled and put out of a job because of pain. After many failed attempts to get out of pain, she started focusing on muscles. And that is what eventually got her out of pain.
In the video below, you can see her marked improvement after a year of careful training and careful progression.
Remembr that there are alternatives to jumping into surgery.
The conservative approach to hip pain and alleged FAI and hip labral tear problems is to retrain the muscles that control the hip joint. This improves function and restores normal, healthy sensations to your hips.