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Common in kicking (taekwondo) sports and butterfly swimmers / waterpolo athetes.
Because they're not often traumatic as you say yours is, the type of tear you have may be more aggressive. Does it heal on its own...likely not, due to lack of blood supply. Can one live with a tear, sure. Can one function in high level athletics with one, likely not, especially in an aggressive aero (bike) position and high-mileage running.
However, surgery MAY help with proper rehabilitation. As for timeline after surgery, give yourself at least 6 months till 100% recovery
I can only offer you what my sports med doc told me.
I have a small labral tear (with a flap). I was experiencing pain in the area of my adductor so she had me do a specific MRI to see if I had a labral tear. I did but after further tests that isolated the labrum, it was ruled out as a source of my pain.
Does it heal on its own? Likely no.
Is surgery always required? Absolutely not.
If it causes you pain then surgery is recommended. The recovery process is fairly long -- around 6 months. However, with no pain you should be able to perform fine with the tear. My doc has a labral tear too and she never had surgery. Hasn't hurt her one bit. So far, my adductor finally healed and my tear hasn't impacted me at all. I don't even know how long it's been there. Maybe for a couple of years. Hard to say.
I'd say if you have no pain then don't worry about it. Again, that's what my doc told me.
I had one as a result of a car bike accident (long story). I was able to go in on a Friday, had chips removed from the hip and the tear repaired, and was able to ride easy on the bike by the following Thursday. Within six weeks, I did a 20km time trial. As I'm a cyclist only, my recovery back to training was rapid. If you run or swim, your initial recovery may take longer. FWIW, the tear that I had repaired was considered fairly extensive.
Don't go the surgery route unless absolutely necessary and if you do, make sure you have someone that specializes in this type of surgery. I saw both an orthopedic specialist and then a very well known hip specialist at Mass General here in Boston that specializes in hip tears. No surgery was suggested UNLESS it flairs up again. Mine resolved or settled down so that I could resume normal training again after about 6 weeks. Being in an aero postion on my bike or running hard intervals coupled with increased run mileage is not an issue now.
I held off on my surgury for a year after my accident and raced in the interim; I opted for the procedure because the hip pain began interferring with my daily life.
i knew that something was wrong with me following imlp '06 because i could not run fast no matter how hard i tried and i had pain in my hip that was a new pain that was deep and not one i had experienced before. i got an mri, which showed the tear. however, as discussed above, that does not automatically mean surgery. i next got an x-ray guided injection to see if that stopped the pain. it did and i was able to run relatively painfree for a couple of weeks but once it wore off i was back to square one. that told the surgeon that my pain was in the hip joint itself (and not soft tissue around it) and i therefore was a candidate for surgery, which i opted for.
once the surgeon got in the hip, he saw that the tear was much worse than the mri revealed. the labrum looked like grated cheese in the pix i saw and it was flapping around in the hip joint. i also had a bone spur that the surgeon shaved down. however, and i don't even want to get started here, the surgeon failed to shave down the head of my femur, which was what more than likely caused the tear in the first place, and i had to have a second surgery this past june to get that done (by a different surgeon). the first surgeon is supposed to be the hot shot hip surgeon at HSS -- bryan kelly -- but i would avoid him like the plague. he screwed up the surgeon and his only concern is how to get the most surgeries in per week with no regard for his patients. the 2nd surgery was done by coleman at HSS and i would highly recommend him. i'm not fully healed but i should be by this winter (i started biking 1 week after surgery and running 2 months after surgery).
as someone else stated, a tear in the labrum will not repair itself -- you just have to figure out whether you can deal with it or not. one of my friends has one and has been able to avoid surgery so far (i couldn't). they are working on creating an artificial labrum that would be sewn into the hip but it isn't available yet. pm me if you want more info.
"It's a wear and tear issue"
But just to make you agree with me more, let me explain a bit further. Acetabular labral tears are often a result from Femoral-acetabular impingement (FAI), typically due to CAM-impingement and pincer-grip anomalies....those "bony" anomalies that I had mentioned earlier.
PS. a tear is a tear. it cannot resolve and there is no such thing as "settling down". You either leave it be or repair it.
I am in the metrowest area and have just been diagnosed with a tear - I was sent to a specialist at NWO by my PT (and Tri-teammate of yours) - I was wondering who at MGH you saw in case I want to seek a 2nd opinion?
you can email me at: triwess7 at gmail dot com
My question is not whether or not to do the surgery (I'm doing it), but how long is the recovery process. I'm reading a wide range of timeframes. One poster said he/she was timetrialing on the bike after couple of weeks post-surgery, and others have said give it 6 months. What's typical? I'm in Cincinnati. My Ortho Dr. (Kremcheck) is saying 4-6 weeks on crutches typically.
Separately, thumbs up to rroof, who has helped many ST folks over the years, for the various Ortho Dr. recommendations.
It took awhile, but I finally discovered that its not the destination that's important, but rather the journey.
Four months post-op, and I am a long way from being fully recovered. True, I have no pain at all in the daytime, which is a huge improvement over where I was before surgery. But any stress on my hip at all, and I mean just a 15-minute walk, and I am awake all night with pain. I am not despairing--yet--but have emailed Dr. Byrd's office to let them know my recovery seems to have stalled.
Surprisingly, the most immediate and enduring effect of whatever Dr. Byrd did has been that my back problems have resolved.
"Ride it like you just stole it"
My friend had a repair done and 6 weeks later still has lots of pain. Her doc does not believe in rehab.This seems odd to me. Is this very unusual?