March 16, 2022

HIP HIP Hooray! Avoid hip surgery!


Imagine Physical Therapy

Read Time

5 minutes



Diagnosed with a hip labral tear or femoroacetular impingement or FAI? 


Patients who are diagnosed with a hip labral tear most commonly complain of deep anterior hip pain that could feel like the hip is locking, clicking, or catching when movement like walking, running, and pivoting.1 Hip labral tears typically come secondary to femoroacetabular impingement, trauma, dysplasia, capsular laxity, or degeneration.1 Conservative treatment may include pain and NSAID medication, activity modification, physical therapy and intraarticular injections done by your orthopedic doctor.1


Choose physical therapy before surgery!


Before considering surgery, physical therapy is recommended because research has shown that 42% of people have labral tears but do not have any symptoms!4 This same study has found that only 9% of people the labral tear that did not have symptoms ended up needing the surgery after following up with them two years later!4 Just because there is hip pain, and the doctor sees a labral tear on the MRI does not always mean you need to have surgery!  


Has the doctor suggested a hip arthroscopy after physical therapy even though conservative treatment has helped and you don’t know what to expect?


Typically, the surgeon will put weight bearing restrictions post-surgery for possibly up to 6 weeks depending on the diagnosis.2 This means that you are not able to put any weight on the injured side for up to a month and a half after surgery. You will most likely be on crutches and not able to drive during this time. After this weight bearing restriction, there will still be strength, flexibility, and balance that will need to be retrained! Typically, these protocols will last up to 12 weeks for everyday activities and could progress beyond 12 weeks if the patient plays sports or has specific work duties beyond strength and endurance needed for everyday activities!


Still having discomfort and surgery is the final straw, don’t worry your time in therapy prior to surgery was still worth it!!!


Studies have shown that patient’s that come in for physical therapy before surgery have better hip flexion and knee extension muscle strength compared to patient’s that put off physical therapy until after their surgery!3 If the muscles needed for hip flexion and knee extension are addressed with physical therapy prior to the hip arthroscopy, it can really optimize your overall hip recovery journey as well as increase your overall hip function. Patients who choose physical therapy before surgery also show an improvement with their quality of life plus decrease the need for extra physical therapy visits post-surgery!3


Come on in to Imagine Physical Therapy before getting that hip arthroscopy surgery today!



1.     Su T, Chen GX, Yang L. Diagnosis and treatment of labral tear. Chin Med J (Engl). 2019;132(2):211-219. doi:10.1097/CM9.0000000000000020

2.     Edelstein J, Ranawat A, Enseki KR, Yun RJ, Draovitch P. Post-operative guidelines following hip arthroscopy. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2012;5(1):15-23. doi:10.1007/s12178-011-9107-6.

3.     Grant LF, Cooper DJ, Conroy JL. The HAPI 'Hip Arthroscopy Pre-habilitation Intervention' study: does pre-habilitation affect outcomes in patients undergoing hip arthroscopy for femoro-acetabular impingement?. J Hip Preserv Surg. 2017;4(1):85-92. Published 2017 Jan 9. doi:10.1093/jhps/hnw046

4.     Vahedi H, Aalirezaie A, Azboy I, Daryoush T, Shahi A, Parvizi J. Acetabular Labral Tears Are Common in Asymptomatic Contralateral Hips With Femoroacetabular Impingement. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2019;477(5):974-979. doi:10.1097/CORR.0000000000000567