Labral repair is a surgery that is used to fix the damage that has occurred to the labrum which is a ring of cartilage that is found in the socket of the hip or shoulder joint. The labrum assists in the stabilization of these ball and socket joints and also offers cushioning and structural support. Injury to the labrum can result from an injury, overuse, or degenerative processes which cause pain, instability, and limited motion.

Indications for Labral Repair

Labral repair is typically indicated for individuals who experience:Labral repair is typically indicated for individuals who experience:

·        Persistent joint pain: Not responding to normal management such as physiotherapy or drugs.

·        Joint instability: Pain and the sensation of the joint coming out of its socket or easily dislocating.

·        Limited range of motion: Pain when trying to move the joint freely and normally.

·        Mechanical symptoms: For instance, snapping, locking, or clicking within the joint.

Types of Labral Tears

·        SLAP tears: Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior, more often seen in the shoulder.

·        Bankart tears: They are commonly linked to shoulder dislocations.

·        Posterior labral tears: Rare, mostly caused by injury.

·        Hip labral tears: May occur due to FAI, trauma or degenerative changes.

Surgical Procedure

1.     Preparation: The patient is placed in a manner that enables the access to the particular joint, and anesthesia is given.

2.     Arthroscopy: It involves cutting small incisions and inserting an arthroscope, which is a small camera that enables the visualization of the joint. This minimally invasive approach ensures that the repair is done to the letter.

3.     Debridement: Any ragged or damaged tissue is removed to allow for the repair process to take place.

4.     Anchoring: The suture anchors are placed into the bone to hold the torn labrum in place. The labrum is then sutured back into its anatomic location.

5.     Closure: The incisions are then closed by using sutures or staples and a sterile dressing is then placed on the area.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovery from labral repair involves several stages:Recovery from labral repair involves several stages:

·        Initial recovery: The first few days are typically characterized by the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The joint may be immobilized with a sling or brace.

·        Physical therapy: A structured rehabilitation program begins to establish range of motion, strength, and stability. Initial treatment involves passive movements and then advances to active therapy.

·        Full recovery: It may take few months to a year to get the complete recovery depending on the joint and the surgery done. Compliance with the rehabilitation regimen is essential to achieve the best possible result.

Risks and Complications

As with any surgery, labral repair carries risks, including:As with any surgery, labral repair carries risks, including:

·        Infection

·        Bleeding

·        Neuropathy or hematoma

·        Stiffness or loss of motion

·        Non-closure or repeated rupture


Labral repair is a popular and successful surgical procedure for patients who have extensive labral tear and experience pain and joint dysfunction. With advancements in arthroscopy, there has been enhanced results; however, the success of the procedure relies on the patient’s commitment to the recommended post-operative physiotherapy regimen. To get specific advice and guidelines, it is advised to consult with an orthopedic specialist.