Torn Hip Labrum - Any success stories?

I have a suspected tear in the right hip and a confirmed tear in the left hip. The tears are small so my doctor isn’t recommending surgery at this moment, but I fear that surgery is looming because the cortisone injections aren’t helping my pain. Currently, I cannot ride more that 15 minutes. Walking is manageable for the most part unless I turn wrong, but the pain level stays pretty constant. As I’ve researched the surgery (and read the old threads on COTH) I have seen all sorts of complications and, honestly, it has me terrified that even with surgery I may never get back to riding without pain. Is there anyone out there who has successfully had the surgery and been back to riding? I would love to hear your stories as I am so discouraged!

Research more. Hip replacement is common these days and successful. Look for a surgeon or two in ur area who does A LOT of replacement surgery. The one I went to did 200plus a year. DD was his OR nurse (not when he did mine cuz u can’t when it is family). Hospitals have to release records on how many they do. Anyway, don’t be intimidated by horror stories. Meet with the surgeon, share ur concerns. Like most, wish I had mine done sooner!!

According to the surgeons, I am not a candidate for hip replacement because I don’t have any arthritis. Just the torn labrum. I wish I was a candidate because the recovery is way shorter for hip replacement than for a torn labrum which is six months. In fact, my husband just had his hip replaced last week (old bad riding injury) and he is already up and walking pain free and unassisted. I’m so jealous!

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I had a full labral reconstruction along with bone re-shaping to fix FAI just over 2 years ago and it was a resounding success! Not sure if that’s what they are recommending for you - my labrum was pretty trashed so that was recommended rather than a labral repair. It was a loooooong recovery, and at a year out I’d say it was a success but was still having issues. I realized at the 2 year mark that I was pretty much 100% (except I’ll never be a gymnast or yoga master lol). I did actually just manage to overdo it and aggravate my hip flexor this past week, so I guess I still have limitations but can’t complain. My surgeon was clear to me that it may or may not work, there’s no guarantee. But I wanted to chime in since most threads are full of the times it didn’t work!


I’d really recommend perusing all conservative therapy, and multiple surgical opinions from the absolute best people you can find. Even then, there are zero guarantees. I went through labral reconstruction from a very highly respected surgeon after obtaining second opinions in agreement and had a terrible time because of outright incompetent mistakes made in my surgery. Not only was a massive amount of bone removed from my acetabular rim, seriously destabilizing the hip joint, two anchors were seated too deep, past the bone. They were shredding my psoas tendon. I had to have a much larger procedure where my pelvis was broken in three places to reorient my acetabulum to better cover my femoral head & restore stability to the joint.

I can’t state strongly enough how negatively this surgery affected my life, despite doing everything right.

I manage the other hip with PRP and that’s been far more successful for me.


Wow. That is just awful. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. I just finished reading your original thread and was hoping you had healed well. Please talk to me about PRP. It is on my list of things to try. Has it managed the pain well enough to ride? How often do you repeat injections?

Sure, absolutely. My garbage fire of a hip has kept me from riding, but the PRP hip doesn’t prevent me from doing anything. It’s pretty much normal almost all of the time. When it starts getting a little sore, I re-up the PRP, generally going 18-24 months between injections.

Highly recommend Regenexx if you’d like to go that route, as their PRP process gives you a purer product with a higher cell count over the tabletop machines most others use, for better chance of success. The cool thing about these regenerative therapies is there’s just so little risk of harm. If it doesn’t work, you can still consider surgery. But if you’re not happy with where you are after surgery, you sure can’t unring that bell, and it’s just so hard to suss out failure.

Hip arthroscopy is a very NEW field, which isn’t something I really knew going in. We’ve been scoping hips for about 20 years. Reconstructing labrums for less. That means there’s a whole lot we don’t know, and that knowledge & experience isn’t evenly dispersed across the population of surgeons. It’s really important to go with experience here (but that’s still no guarantee :confused:)

I have no experience with labral issues, but I can tell you that PRP and prolotherapy have been wonderful for me. PRP separately has fixed both a torn hamstring tendon and a torn ankle ligament; prolo keeps some SI joint issues under control.

The place I go is also Regenexx. I strongly believe that the success of the PRP depends a) on the process used to generate the PRP and b) who is doing the injecting (you need to get it in the right place).

I emphatically ditto everything that Simkie says about PRP v. surgery. Unless there is an absolutely undeniable need for surgery, I would always try PRP first, assuming that you are able to afford it. It’s your own blood, so the risks are very low.

I had labrum repair on my right hip in 9/15. I am forever grateful that I did. I was in agonizing pain before hand that cortisone did nothing for. My advice is find a great PT who understands you want an active lifestyle. I had a great surgeon and PT, and they had me back up and going in 12 weeks. By 6 months I was running half marathons again. The PT regiment was no joke, but compared to what I’m currently dealing with rehabbing my ankle, I would take it a million times over.


Simkie, I’m so glad you mentioned Regenexx. I had no idea that this company existed and turns out they have a location near me. I’ll be calling them on Monday.

Darkwave, thanks for the added information on PRP. So glad it works for you! I am definitely going to try this route before surgery. Glad to know, though, that at least a couple people on this thread have had success.

A good friend went through this. Fell off a young-ish horse, stupid accident, and hurt her hip. Being horse people she hurt for a few days and ultimately decided it was nothing serious. It kept hurting. A small tear, a couple doctors told her PT and a couple said there was nothing seriously wrong. She rested, it did not get better, and a year later she had surgery to repair it. She now has two tiny scars, barely noticeable. They are the same size as my laparoscopic appendectomy scars.

Since the recovery, she is back to normal and rides a lot, does yoga, and some adult dance classes. Occasionally she does say her hips hurts, but thinks it is often psychosomatic. I don’t think she reports hurting any more than the rest of us :joy: Altogether she wishes she had done something earlier, but made a full recovery.

I have had three labrum repair surgeries. My hips themselves don’t both me at all, I do have some bursitis that is uncomfortable but not really related. Happy to answer any specific questions you may have.

I had two hips done last year. Two horrible labral tears plus massive bone reshaping.

I still can’t ride in my dressage saddle without pain. Really anything with “long” stirrups. Short stirrups are no problem. My left hip is extremely unstable and periodically will just…tweak. I exercise the snot out of them.

I’m frustrated and considering a return to the surgeon to get them replaced if they’ll let me, but the thought of going through all of that again is less than appealing. Also the thought of having massive issues if I come off. I work green horses so it happens sometimes.

Sorry it’s not a positive report but I am still riding which I guess counts.

I had surgery in October 2019 to fix a torn labrum and FAI. I went to a surgeon at UCSF who leads their Hip Preservation Institute, and told me he does 200 labrum repairs/grafts per year. My pain actually wasn’t terrible, but based on changes to the bone that were evident on the MRI (cysts, etc.) I was told that I needed to do surgery or I’d need a hip replacement in 5-10 years (and I was only 29 at the time). Based on the MRI and my pain level, my surgeon went in expecting to just do a labrum repair, but found that the labrum was beyond repair and so he ended up doing a graft with a cadaver ankle tendon. I was told not to ride or ski for 6 months, but did not follow instructions, and my surgeon tells me I had one of the best recoveries he’s seen.

Some things I did in my recovery that were a bit out of the ordinary:

Because of the graft, I was partial weight bearing and on crutches for 6 weeks. 2 weeks in, I put some Tegaderm over the incisions and starting pool-based PT a couple days a week in addition to doing in-office PT, and I think that made a huge difference for me.

For riding, I got back on my horse at the walk as soon as I was off crutches, and found that the passive motion was helpful. I was cleared for running at 12 weeks, and I decided that if I could run I could ride (and just not fall off) and slowly built back up the amount of time I spent in the saddle. I’d say I was pretty much back to full riding within a month after that.

The limiting factor to me was muscle tightness. I used a Theragun starting the first week to help keep all the muscles around my hip as loose as possible. 3-4 months post-op I started seeing a therapist who used the Active Release Technique on my psoas, which was the final thing that helped me get back full range of motion.

2.5 years post-op, my left hip is totally normal and has no real limitations. It’s not something I notice or that affects me in or out of the saddle. Unfortunately my right hip is getting progressively worse and will probably end up needing surgery at some point now.

I didn’t see this back in April when you posted, but this feeling is just so, so common in those that have dysplasia and have gone through a scope. Arthroscopists often either miss dysplasia entirely or discount it, but research is becoming more clear that scoping dysplastic joints is a bad idea–as it can make them much more unstable.

Or, you may have started with normal acetabular coverage, and an overenthusiastic surgeon removed so much of your acetabular rim that he created dysplasia. That’d what happened to me.

You’d think that a surgeon who specializes in the hip joint would recognize a hip joint pathology, but they often don’t. Hit up a surgeon who specializes in dysplasia to be screened for instability. If you’d like to share with me where you are in the country, I can help point you in the right direction.

Ahh thank you!

I started with FAI, but it’s totally possible that they created dysplasia OR that I just don’t have stability muscles around that area because my joints were totally jammed into place.

I’m in MO.

I am riding, but the pain is significant and I’m very very tight when I get on. When I go for walks/hikes the pain is significant until ~ mile 1 is over, and then I’m fine, which indicates to me maybe I’ve developed more arthritis?

Just sucks to have come this far only to be still in the same place. In pain, trying to ride. On the bright side my horse finally grew up, so he at least is handling things much better than when I originally started having problems (and he was 5 :eek:).

Clohisy is in Saint Louis, and would be worth a visit. You also have Williams/Chahla (and Nho) at Rush in Chicago, if you’d be willing to go a little further.

You don’t have to live in pain :frowning: I’m sorry your surgery wasn’t more successful. I hope you’re able to find some answers!


Just a little update. Despite having a good ROM directly after surgery, I’m a year out and it looks like my labrum might be torn again and I have pincer and cam impingement again.

Why my body wants to lock my hips in place is beyond me. I’m looking at switching to sidesaddle and/or driving. I am so frustrated right now.

I tore the labrum in my right hip twice and left hip once. If it makes you feel any better my hips are fine now. Sorry you are still suffering