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Thread: Hip labral tear

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    Yen
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    Hip labral tear

    I've had hip pain (anterior and groin area) on and off for years but learned to live with it (I have a high tolerance to pain). It's recently worsened to the point that I'm beginning to take it more seriously and considering seeing a doctor. I researched the symptoms which sound just like a labral tear of the hip.

    Recent developments include: Pain when lifting the knee to unclip on the bike (6-7 on pain scale); hip locking with sharp pain (on two recent occasions, the "lock" was released when I rode over a small crack in the street! This was during the warm-up and I considered ending the ride until it released.); lower glute pain (both hips) starting last weekend after a hilly metric; clicking when I flex either hip; mild groin pain at night; pain after sitting(!); pain after walking(!!), and poor range of motion. One very strange new development: If I wake up at night with a full bladder, the groin pain is aggravated. And, I'm beginning to limp.

    I will see a doctor very soon, but I'm wondering if any 50-plussers have experienced this and escaped surgery through exercises and stretching alone. I've read numerous on-line articles and comments which suggest that PT and stretching often aggravate it, and long-term rest relieves it, and surgery is often highly successful.
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    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    I have a minor and untreated labral tear (together with osteoarthritis). In my case, it's not so bad (my impression is that the arthritis is worse, but I don't really know) and I'm not having any treatment, apart from probably too much reliance on Tylenol. My understanding is that in some cases for labral tears, arthroscopic surgery can be quite successful (they basically "shave" the torn portion of the labrum), but that it depends on the details of the tear.

    Interestingly, the hip surgeon with whom I consulted said that most athletically active people eventually have labral tears, but that for the most part the symptoms are minor and surgical treatment, unnecessary.

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    My symptoms definitely don't feel minor. I'm going to resume the exercises I was doing to strengthen my core and hips, as well as ice and heat, and see if that helps. I doubt they'll cure it (if it's a tear) but should provide some relief. I don't like taking pain meds unless absolutely necessary (I think I mentioned I have a high pain tolerance) but when pain restricts or limits my favorite activities then it's time to have it checked out.
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    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Yeah, I believe you. I don' have the locking that people say is characteristic of a serious tear. You might be a good candidate for arthroscopy, though.

    In my experience, the PT - strengthening the core and so on - is of very limited aid, as is heat/ice, etc.. They are worth a try, but call me a skeptic. OTOH, hip problems definitely are diminished by shedding "extra" pounds.

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    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    MinnMan,
    Please be careful with the Tylenol, the medical community is finding liver damage problems with prolonged usage. I was taking Darvocet for my back injury for many years, the nurse looked at my chart one day and saw the dosage and length of use, that was cut out, right away, and now with my Stage 3B renal failure hepatic numbers I cannot have anything with acetaminophen. Just a heads up.

    Yen,
    I hope you are able to get the root cause of that awful sounding pain soon, best of luck.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    Yeah, I believe you. I don' have the locking that people say is characteristic of a serious tear. You might be a good candidate for arthroscopy, though.

    In my experience, the PT - strengthening the core and so on - is of very limited aid, as is heat/ice, etc.. They are worth a try, but call me a skeptic. OTOH, hip problems definitely are diminished by shedding "extra" pounds.
    No doubt about that. I don't have any extra pounds to lose but if I did that would be the first place to start.

    The locking is new and has happened twice in a handful of rides within the past couple of weeks. The glute pain is also new -- it feels like I did a lot of reverse hamstring curls at the gym, or a LOT of standing during a LOT of climbing ....... except I didn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    MinnMan,
    Please be careful with the Tylenol, the medical community is finding liver damage problems with prolonged usage. I was taking Darvocet for my back injury for many years, the nurse looked at my chart one day and saw the dosage and length of use, that was cut out, right away, and now with my Stage 3B renal failure hepatic numbers I cannot have anything with acetaminophen. Just a heads up.

    Yen,
    I hope you are able to get the root cause of that awful sounding pain soon, best of luck.

    Bill
    Thank you, Bill. And +1 on the Tylenol.
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    I thought for sure this injury would be familiar to more members of this forum. I now have an appointment with my GP to ask for a referral to a sports orthopedic hip specialist.

    Today I am gardening and the pain became so bothersome I had to stop and do some stretches --- never had to do that before! The pain has been there for years but it was mild enough I could ignore it; now it's bad enough I can't ignore it and impedes some of my movements. I am planning a bike ride tomorrow and will see how that goes.
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    Yen,
    I had never heard of this painful sounding injury before you posted about it. What little I know about the hip's anatomy and musculature tells me it would be almost debilitating if it was a large enough tear. The locking would really bother me a whole lot, pain I have learned how to deal with in large quantities/periods of time. I'll be interested in what the orthopaedic doctor says about the condition and their recommendations. Best of luck.

    Bill
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    I have the same issue. PT applied traction to the hip area to create more space which gave it a release to do exercises. The ones that helps were core, lunges on a bosu ball, hamstring stretches, side stepping with Thera band. Hip is not catching anymore, though I have it pinch every so often. Biking is fine as is ant linear movements. The lateral movements are the problem.

    Most recently, I have tried deep laser. Process is new and gets the hip and back heated for rapid healing. My hip is a result of a getting hit by a car 6 months ago so it is not a short quick process.

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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    I thought for sure this injury would be familiar to more members of this forum. I now have an appointment with my GP to ask for a referral to a sports orthopedic hip specialist.

    Today I am gardening and the pain became so bothersome I had to stop and do some stretches --- never had to do that before! The pain has been there for years but it was mild enough I could ignore it; now it's bad enough I can't ignore it and impedes some of my movements. I am planning a bike ride tomorrow and will see how that goes.
    Wow. Some of your symptoms sound eerily familiar to what my wife was experiencing. She wound up with a new hip.......have they done an xray of the joint to make sure it's not arthritic??
    Ride your Ride!!

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    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    There's a saying amongst bridge players: one peek is worth two finesses.

    Sounds like you're ready for a peek.

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    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    I was taking Darvocet for my back injury for many years, the nurse looked at my chart one day and saw the dosage and length of use, that was cut out, right away.
    Bill
    Years? Did you have to go through withdrawal?

    About 10 years ago I underwent an operation and recovery that had me fairly well drugged for about two weeks and a few days. The day after stopping the pain killers it felt like I was coming down with the flu along with a very unpleasant jittery feeling. It was late in the day before I suspected what was going on and called the surgeon's office to ask if maybe I was experiencing withdrawals. The said sure I was, did I want any more to taper off? Uh, no way in H***. I wanted that over & it lasted for only about two-three days. That stuff is badly addicting.

    Renal failure? Are you okay? I guess I'll see for myself when I get back from Atlanta, I'll take you up on the offer.

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    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Tom,
    No withdrawal symptoms here, do not know why but I am thankful that I didn't. I went into renal failure last summer at Stage 3B, I am managing it well with a strict kidney disease patient's diet and exercise. The doctor said that I need to keep doing just what I am now doing. The bicycling is fully approved and supported.

    Bill
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    Update:

    I started seeing a doctor who is a DC/PT and member of our bike group. He has years of experience treating sports injuries. He gave me some gentle stretches and exercises to strengthen the hip and core muscles. He cannot rule out labral tear without MRI, but did say that his patients with labral tears usually demonstrated a LOT more pain during the diagnostic tests. He now suspects an injury to the rectus femoris muscle where it attaches to the anterior pelvis. It may not explain the catch/release issue deep in the groin on the same side (toward the midline), or pain in the lower glute area on the other side. Coincidentally (or, perhaps not), there's also an almond-size cyst visible in the inguinal crease on the same side as the suspected rectus femoris pain. To further deepen the mystery: During the night, if I awaken with a full bladder there is a combination of dull and sharp pain in the groin area on that same side, suggesting that the bladder is pressing on something, but there is no numbness or tingling to suggest a nerve issue. The pain is relieved after I empty the bladder.

    The most bothersome pain while riding is exactly the point where that muscle attaches, a sharp pain that worsens each time I unclip. Unclipping requires raising the knee against resistance, and I always unclip on that side, in the 12 o'clock position. Any activity in which I actively raise the knee against resistance (including gravity!) causes quite a bit of pain at that spot.

    He took hip x-rays which did not show any arthritis, so he suspects soft tissue injury(s) and recommends an MRI. I have an appointment with an orthopedic hip specialist for further eval and (if necessary) an MRI in early January. And I'll continue doing the stretches and exercises, hoping to feel improvement by my appointment.

    I am doing spin classes which don't seem to bother it (since I don't unclip during the ride), but I can do little other activity other than the core exercises and the frenzy of preparing for Christmas. Standing feels good (since the hip isn't flexed), and sitting stirs up a tearing-type pain along the pelvic crest on both sides.

    I love a good mystery!

    To be continued....
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    Any update on your condition? I am having similar symptoms. Thanks
    2013 CAAD 10

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    Hi, I realize its been a couple of years since you posted this. My hips are killing me and I don't know what to do. I am an avid equestrian and has-been cyclist/runner, though I still mountain bike a little with my horse (he is my pony). How are you doing? Whats working, what's not? I refuse opioids for pain. I am taking nutraceuticals (omegas, glucosamine sulfate and HCL, baclofen, and NSAIDs on occasion). What exercises help? I just love riding my horse and can't seem to let it rest. Not sure surgery will prove helpful, and I don't want to go 6 weeks without riding. Help advice welcome!!

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    This was the resolution. From a newer thread
    MRI: Partial hamstring tear
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