Take your Hips Seriously

hipI had to teach extra classes this week because one of my co-teacher was down with a torn labrum hip, not that I’m complaining about it or something, but the injury she suffered was a bit unexpected, to say the least. She was an active person, running every day and does not miss her schedules at the gym. She looks so healthy that you will even mistake her for a gym instructor or any person working, or related to, fitness activities. Imagine the shock we had when she suddenly fell into a heap while we were climbing the stairs to the second floor. She had to be helped up and carried, because one movement from her legs is enough to send her crying in pain.

A quick visit to the emergency room validated what was feared. After undergoing an impingement sign test, a test wherein her hips are flexed 90 degrees and also turned inwards, she was diagnosed as suffering from Acetabular labrum tear, labrum tear in simple English, and had to be admitted for the day as her agonizing pain is still needed to be addressed.

A labrum tear is a tear of the cartilage that encircles the hip socket. The acetabular labrum cartilage helps secure the head of the thigh bone or femur inside of the hip socket and provides strength to the joint, while the labrum is a kind of connective tissue that is wrapped around the edges of the hip socket. A tear in this area means the head of the femur will not be secured within the hip joint, thus movement coming from the area causes pain and even a limitation of mobility from the joint.

There are many causes of tearing of the cartilage in the area, the doctor said, with the most common reason being an injury or trauma suffered by the patient in and around the area of the hips. Abnormal hip movements coupled with weak muscles in the hips causes labrum tears. Other causes are the structural abnormalities in the hips that are inherent or inborn, like suffering from hip dysplasia as children makes one more at risk from labrum tears, and lastly, the execution of repetitive movements, especially those not within the normal range of motion, using the joint and its surrounding structures, also causes the condition.

Treatment for the affliction consist of prescribing pain and anti-inflammatory medicine coupled with strictly enforced immobility of the area involved during the first phase of treatment. Anterior hip precautions also suggest the avoidance of putting weight to the area. The succeeding stages consist of physical therapy, especially pertaining to normal range of joint motion, and the strengthening of the muscles within the hip and leg areas. Another treatment alternative, although not recommended, said the doctor, is going through the surgical route, wherein the labrum cartilage may be removed or refastened to the bone, depending on the severity and location of the tear.

All I can say to myself was wow, realizing so many things can happen, to such nondescript part of the body, scared me a little. It made me realize how mortal we are, and also reminded me to be aware, and take better care of myself, as I really, really don’t want that to happen to me.