The labrum is a ring or band of cartilage that is part of the hip or shoulder joint. These joints have a ball-and-socket structure to them. The labrum fits around the ball like a tight sleeve where it meets the socket of the joint. This helps to stabilize the joint so it does not dislocate out of place.
Injury to the hip or shoulder joint can result in damage to the labrum. This will result in an unstable joint that can cause pain, especially with movement. The labrum can tear from a traumatic injury or it can wear out over time from overuse and cause degenerative tearing.
A labral tear requires an MRI to diagnose it. Often, a special type of MRI called an arthrogram is even necessary. The arthrogram includes contrast in order to help see deeper into the joint where the labrum is located. Ultrasound is not as useful for diagnosing labral tears due to the depth of the injury.
If conservative treatment fails with physical therapy and NSAIDs, then arthroscopic surgery should be considered. If you are a more active individual, you may also want to consider surgery sooner. In cases where you would like to avoid surgery or surgery has failed then you can try Regenerative Medicine with either Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) or Stem Cell Therapy to help heal the damaged labrum.
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