Hip Labrum Tear : Golf Injuries

Hip injuries aren’t as common in golf as injuries to the shoulder, back and wrists, but golf can still take its toll on the hips. Golfers are susceptible to hip problems because the repeated pivoting and twisting motions that are required during the golf swing puts a lot of pressure on the hips.

The Hip Joint

The hip is a ball and socket joint and has a very large range of motion. It is comprised on the femur (thigh bone) and the pelvis. The rounded top of the femur (femoral head) slots into a round socket in the pelvis called the acetabulum. The acetabulum has a ringed shaped lip called the labrum, which is a form of cartilage. The labrum helps to keep the hip joint stable.

What Causes a Labrum Tear in the Hip?

Golf requires lots of bending and twisting, which puts a great deal of pressure on the hips. The labrum can become torn through overuse, especially if excessive force is exerted on the hips during the golf swing due to poor technique. Damage to the labrum decreases the stability of the femur in the hip joint and fluid may leak from the joint, causing friction in the hip.

What are the Symptoms of a Labrum Tear?

A sharp pain will be felt as soon as the injury is sustained. The pain will be worse when bearing weight on the hips, especially when doing activities that require the hips to be bent or twisted. There will probably be swelling around the hip joint, although this won’t be visible on the surface.

How Can a Labrum Tear be Prevented?

Warming up properly before teeing off will help to protect you against injury. It is also essential to take regular breaks and get a sufficient amount of rest between sessions, as fatigued muscles and joints are more prone to injury. If you are a beginner, taking lessons to improve your golf swing will help to reduce the amount of pressure on the hips. Wearing insoles that support the arches of your feet will also help to correct your posture and take the strain of your hips.

How is a Labrum Tear Treated?

A small tear may be healed with physiotherapy exercises that strengthen the thigh and hip muscles. A more substantial tear may require arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery to repair the damage. Following surgery, patients may have to walk with the aid of crutches for four or five days.

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