Hip Labral Tear Settlement: The Claiming Process

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Workers Compensation

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Did you know? During regular activities like walking, a healthy hip carries nearly five times a person’s body weight. In this blog, we would be discussing on labral tear of the hip and the hip labral tear settlement in an injury claim.

Let’s get started with the hip anatomy and labral tear.

Anatomically, the hip is the area on both sides of the pelvis. It is a ball-and-socket joint and is one of the most stable joints in the human body. The round head of the femur rests in a cavity called the acetabulum that allows free rotation of the limb. The iliofemoral ligament, the strongest ligament of the human body, helps stabilize and maintain an upright posture at the hip.

Five groups of hip muscles are attached to the hip joint, helping in different body movements. They are gluteals, quadriceps, iliopsoas, hamstrings, and the adductor muscles. The femoral, obturator and superior gluteal nerves transmit innervation to the hip joint.

Gliding through the basic anatomy of the hip, let us now get to know about the hip labrum and labral tear of the hip. For those who are curious to know what exactly a labrum is, the labrum is a cartilage ring that covers the rim of a ball-and-socket joint like the hip or the shoulder. It

  • Provides lubrication and a smooth surface for the joint’s natural mobility
  • Creates a vacuum with a negative pressure that prevents hip dislocation
  • Acts as a seal, preventing the ball and socket from colliding or grinding

When the labrum in the hip, also called the acetabular labrum, is torn or damaged, it is called a labrum tear. A torn hip labrum can adversely affect the functionality of the hip. In 1957, Peterson first described a labral tear in the hip, and the first arthroscopic diagnosis of a labral tear was made in 1986.

Causes of Labrum Tear in the Hip

  • Repetitive and vigorous hip movements, like sports and athletic activities.
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI), where the femoral head doesn’t align well with the socket.
  • Hip dysplasia- a condition where the hip socket doesn’t give full coverage to the ball portion of the upper thighbone.
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease- a vascular necrosis of the proximal femoral head resulting from the interruption of blood supply to the femur head.
  • Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE)- is an abnormal condition where the head of the femur stays inside the socket of the hip joint while the rest of the femur is dislocated or misaligned.
  • Injury or trauma to the hip occurring during an accident or sports activity
  • Degenerative health conditions occur as a part of the normal wear and tear of the body.

What Aggravates Hip Labral Tear?

There could be certain circumstances where a mild or asymptomatic labral tear of the hip could be aggravated into a severe and complicated condition. This is a common point of contention in personal injury cases when the plaintiff claims that the damage aggravated a previous hip labral tear. Let us find out the aggravating factors for a labral tear of the hip.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall, and falling from heights can also aggravate an already existing labral tear of the hip. During such traumatic onsets, the patient might experience a pop sound or a sensation of subluxation.
  • Degenerative changes in the joints or surrounding tissues.

Labral Tear of the Hip: Symptoms

What does hip labral tear feel like? The common signs and symptoms of labrum tear in the hip include sharp pain and discomfort in any body movement involving the hip. Most individuals with acetabular labral tears exhibit pain in the anterior hip, indicating an anterior labral tear. In contrast, buttock discomfort is more common and consistent with posterior tears. In some individuals, it may also be asymptomatic.

What does a hip labral tear feel like? The regular labral tear of the hip symptoms is as discussed below.

  • Pain in the groin
  • Inability to walk, sit or stand for an extended period
  • Hip pain while indulging in sports activities, climbing stairs, etc., which is a strong indication of a labral tear hip pain
  • Pain and stiffness in the hip area
  • Locking sensation in the hip
  • Feeling unsteady when bearing the bodyweight on the hip
  • Pain in the buttocks area
  • Clicking or locking sound in the hip during body movements
  • Feeling unsteady on your feet

How to Diagnose Labral Tear of the Hip?

Physical examination and evaluation of the medical history of the patient are the primary steps in the diagnosis of hip labral tear. The most common hip labral tear test methods are the anterior hip impingement test (anterior hip labral tear test) and the posterior hip impingement test (posterior labral tear hip test).

In an anterior hip impingement test, the physician induces a 90° flexion of the hip and knee, along with adduction and internal rotation of the symptomatic hip. In a posterior hip impingement test, the patient lies prone with hip and knee extended. Passive extension, adduction, and external rotation of the hip are carried out. Sharp pain in the hip or groin indicates a positive test in both cases. Patrick/Faber test, Log-roll test, resisted straight leg raise test, and the apprehension test is the other physical exam tests done to diagnose a torn hip labrum.

The physician may suggest radiographic evaluation like an X-ray, MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Arthrography (MRA) to get a detailed report on the torn labrum in the hip. In a hip labral tear X-ray, multiple images of the hip joint can be captured from several angles that can indicate any structural deformities in the hip joint.

An MRI for a hip labral rupture provides comprehensive images of the cartilage and labrum. In the presence of joint effusions, labrum integrity is investigated using MRI. The advantage of MRI is that it can quickly detect a misplaced labrum, chondral damage, or capsule stripping. Labral tear hip MRI arthrogram involves intra-articular injection under fluoroscopic guidance followed by magnetic resonance imaging. Diagnostic Injection is another method in diagnosis to confirm the source of hip pain is the hip joint. In this procedure, the hip joint is injected with an X-ray-guided local anesthetic and evaluated for pain relief.

Labral Tear Hip Treatment Options 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, maybe a physician’s first choice in relieving pain and inflammation associated with a labral tear of the hip. Corticosteroid injection into the hip joint is another strategy helpful in pain relief. Hot or cold therapy and deep tissue massage may also help the patient ease the symptoms.

Depending upon the symptoms and the general health of the patient, the physician may also suggest physical therapy, which would comprise hip labral tear exercises, including stretching and strengthening. A combination of medication, along with multiple physical therapy sessions, would yield better results for the patient.

When the conventional, non-surgical options fail, labral tear hip repair will proceed towards surgery. When it is being evaluated for surgery, the most common option is labral tear hip arthroscopy. In the procedure, the surgeon creates 2 to 4 incisions, through which the arthroscope and the surgical instruments are inserted to perform the repair. Special surgical devices are used to anchor stitches into bone. Compared to open hip surgery, hip arthroscopy involves minimal incisions, and the labral tear hip surgery recovery time in this procedure is less. Reattaching the torn labrum to the socket and debridement are other surgical methods to repair a torn hip labrum.

Can you Claim for a Torn Hip Labrum?

Labral tear of the hip is a common injury in auto accidents, nursing home abuse, workplace injuries, slip and falls, swimming pool accidents, etc. If sufficient medical proof supports the labrum tear lawsuit, the claimant can sue the individual who caused the harm. The claimant must show that the hip labral tear results from the accident. The claimant has the right to sue the negligent party even if an existing acetabular labral tear is worsened to a severe state due to the injury.

In such cases, the most typical defense is that the claimant had the ailment prior to the incident or that it was an age-related degenerative issue. In such cases, current and previous medical data might show the extent of the hip labrum injury, demonstrating that the accident caused or aggravated the hip labral tear. While certain injuries are instantly obvious on MRIs and x-rays, detecting a labral tear of the hip on an MRI or other imaging test can be difficult. It may make the hip labral tear car accident settlement difficult to get.

Hip Labral Tear Settlement

In most cases, insurance companies take a long time to respond to injuries that aren’t visible. Because internal injuries or joint damage are difficult to see, they will often try to avoid compensating you. Hiring a personal injury lawyer specializing in similar claims would help the claimant reach a fair hip labral tear settlement. To know the average settlement for torn labrum, contact a personal injury attorney.

The plaintiff can claim both economic and non-economic damages based on the circumstances of the hip labral tear compensation lawsuit.

What are the damages covered in a hip labral tear settlement?

  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical appointments, surgeries, and exams
  • Physical therapy programs and counseling
  • Medications and prescription drugs
  • Emergency medical help
  • Pain and suffering

If the labral tear in the hip prevents you from working or has a significant negative impact on your quality of life, your payout in the settlement for torn labrum might be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Final Thoughts

If you have pain or discomfort in your hip after an injury, immediately consult a doctor. Claiming the injury is absolutely a smart decision after having a detailed case evaluation with your personal injury lawyer. A more severe hip labral tear will necessitate more attention and time to heal, as well as more of a hip labrum tear car accident settlement. If the tear demands surgery to repair the damage, this can also work to your advantage and result in a better hip labral tear settlement.

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