For what seems like an eternity, you’ve been hobbling around on a painful hip, and you’re tired of dealing with discomfort every time you take to your feet.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. At Western Orthopaedics, the team includes one of the leading hip experts in the orthopedic field — Dr. Brian White. With years of experience under his belt performing 11 hip arthroscopies each week and more than 3,000 labral reconstructions overall, it’s safe to say that Dr. White knows his way around damaged hips. More importantly, he knows how to bring you relief.
In this month’s post, we’re going to explore how a labral reconstruction can help you enjoy pain-free movement again.
Labral tear basics
There are many conditions that can lead to hip pain, and one of the more common is a labral tear. Your hip is a large ball-and-socket joint — the socket, or acetabulum, is located in your pelvis, and the ball portion is formed by the head of your femur.
The socket features a ring of cartilage that circles around the outer edge of the socket. This tissue, which is called the labrum, helps to keep the femoral head firmly in the socket, creating a sort of seal.
When this tissue becomes damaged or torn, usually due to overuse or a traumatic injury, it can lead to ongoing pain in your hip as well as stiffness and clicking or locking in the joint.
Why reconstruction and not repair
When it comes to labral tears in your hip, Dr; White has found that repairing the tissue may not be the best solution for relieving your hip pain. This tissue involves a fair amount of nerve fibers and, by the time you reach the decision to undergo hip arthroscopy, the odds are fairly good that these nerve fibers have been firing for some time.
We’ve discovered that the longer nerve are active, the more the pain becomes almost automatic and the nerves still intact and firing, they can remain active afterward and your hip pain can persist.
Our goal is to repair these tissues, but in a way that can best relieve your discomfort. To do this, we turn to reconstruction using a donor graft to restore integrity to your labrum. This allograft won’t become sensitized in your body, which means it can’t send any pain signals, thus putting an end to your long struggle with hip pain.
To give you an idea of how successful this approach can be, one study found that labral reconstruction is a great solution for people with damage that extends beyond what a simple debridement procedure can cover.
More specifically, the study concluded that labral reconstruction is a “viable arthroscopic treatment option that has been shown to reliably produce clinically meaningful results in patients with severe labral pathology that is not amenable to repair/refixation or augmentation.”
Our own experiences certainly reflect the findings in this study, and Dr. White has become a leader in the field of labral reconstruction.
If you want to learn more about this technique for relieving chronic hip pain, please contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to set up an appointment with Dr. White.