Can Hip Labrum Tears Be Treated Without Surgery?

Hip labrum tears cannot be healed on their own, and surgery is therefore presented as the conventional option to restore mobility and stop the pain. In reality, however, there are other approaches a patient can take, including regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy. Find out more about this alternative approach to addressing hip labrum tears below.

What Is the Hip Labrum?

The labrum is a piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion between the top of the thigh bone and the pelvic bone. This allows the hip, which is a ball-and-socket joint, to move fluidly through a wide range of motion. The small structures that make up the joint, including the muscles, cartilage, and other soft tissue, can become compromised due to severe injury or general overuse. 

Symptoms of a Hip Labrum Tear

Degenerative conditions such as arthritis can wear the soft tissue between joints away over time, causing pronounced discomfort and stiffness as bones begin to rub together. In such instances, pain from a labrum tear may come on slowly. Symptoms of a labrum tear may include:

  • Instability in the joint
  • Difficulty sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Discomfort when resting on one side
  • Aching sensation in the groin or buttocks
  • A sensation of the joint locking out or clicking

Doctors diagnose a labrum tear using different types of imaging. They could use an MRI, x-ray, or CT scan, for example. They’ll look for signs of degradation of the joint, along with any other possible causes of pain. In some cases, doctors may also use anesthesia injected in the joint to confirm that the labrum is the cause of the patient’s pain. If the discomfort subsides after the injection, it suggests that the pain is indeed coming from an issue in the hip itself, and not surrounding tissue.  

Alternative Hip Labrum Tear Treatments

Fortunately, there are regenerative medicine options you can explore for helping tissue damage and pain management for a hip labrum tear. These options are:

  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): A patient’s blood is drawn, and the platelets are isolated from other components to form a concentrated solution with rich healing properties. Injecting PRP at the site of compromised tissue, such as the labrum, can stimulate healing and pain relief, thanks to the solution’s anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Stem Cell Therapy: Stem cells may come from the patient’s adipose (fat) tissue, bone marrow, or donated umbilical cord tissue. They are then processed and administered at the site of the injury via direct injection and sometimes systemically. The cells have self-renewing properties, as well as the ability to differentiate into specialized cell types. Thus, they can regenerate compromised tissue for powerful healing effects. 

While regenerative medicine isn’t a cure-all, such treatments are worth consideration for patients who wish to prevent or delay surgery, as well as anyone who wants to address the root cause of tissue damage instead of simply masking symptoms. 

This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.