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Hip Labrum Repair: Potential Risks and Complications

Hip labrum repair is a surgical procedure that aims to treat injuries or damage to the labrum, a ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip joint. While this procedure can provide significant relief and improve hip function, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with it. Understanding these risks can help patients make informed decisions and prepare for the recovery process. In this article, we will explore the potential risks and complications of hip labrum repair, backed by research and expert insights.

1. Infection

Infection is a potential risk associated with any surgical procedure, including hip labrum repair. While the risk of infection is relatively low, it is still important to take precautions to minimize the chances of developing an infection. Surgeons typically administer antibiotics before, during, and after the surgery to reduce the risk of infection. However, despite these preventive measures, infections can still occur.

Signs of infection after hip labrum repair may include:

  • Increased pain or swelling at the surgical site
  • Redness or warmth around the incision
  • Drainage of pus from the incision
  • Fever

If any of these symptoms occur, it is important to contact the surgeon immediately for further evaluation and treatment. Infections can be treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, additional surgical intervention may be required to drain the infected area.

2. Nerve Damage

During hip labrum repair, there is a risk of nerve damage. The nerves around the hip joint can be stretched, compressed, or even cut during the surgical procedure. This can result in temporary or permanent nerve damage, leading to symptoms such as:

  • Numbness or tingling in the leg or foot
  • Weakness in the leg or foot
  • Loss of sensation
  • Difficulty walking or balancing

If nerve damage occurs, it is important to inform the surgeon immediately. In some cases, nerve damage may resolve on its own over time. However, in more severe cases, additional treatment or surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged nerves.

3. Blood Clots

Another potential risk of hip labrum repair is the formation of blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Blood clots can form in the deep veins of the leg, which can be dangerous if they travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.

To reduce the risk of blood clots, surgeons may prescribe blood-thinning medications or recommend the use of compression stockings. Additionally, early mobilization and regular movement of the legs after surgery can help prevent blood clots from forming. It is important for patients to follow their surgeon’s instructions regarding post-operative care and activity restrictions to minimize the risk of blood clots.

4. Joint Stiffness and Limited Range of Motion

Following hip labrum repair, some patients may experience joint stiffness and limited range of motion. This can occur due to scar tissue formation or post-operative inflammation. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are crucial in restoring hip mobility and preventing long-term stiffness.

Physical therapists will work with patients to develop a personalized rehabilitation program that includes exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. It is important for patients to actively participate in their rehabilitation program to achieve optimal outcomes and minimize the risk of long-term joint stiffness.

5. Failure to Relieve Symptoms

While hip labrum repair is generally successful in relieving symptoms and improving hip function, there is a possibility that the procedure may not provide the desired outcome. In some cases, patients may continue to experience pain, instability, or limited mobility even after the surgery.

Several factors can contribute to the failure of hip labrum repair, including:

  • Underlying joint abnormalities
  • Additional hip joint damage
  • Inadequate rehabilitation or post-operative care
  • Improper surgical technique

If the symptoms persist or worsen after hip labrum repair, it is important to consult with the surgeon for further evaluation. Additional imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans, may be necessary to assess the condition of the hip joint and determine the appropriate course of action.


Hip labrum repair is a surgical procedure that can effectively treat injuries or damage to the hip labrum. While the procedure has a high success rate, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with it. Infection, nerve damage, blood clots, joint stiffness, and failure to relieve symptoms are among the potential risks that patients should consider.

It is crucial for patients to have a thorough discussion with their surgeon before undergoing hip labrum repair. This will help them understand the potential risks, benefits, and expected outcomes of the procedure. Additionally, following the surgeon’s post-operative instructions and actively participating in rehabilitation can significantly reduce the risk of complications and promote successful recovery.

By being well-informed and actively involved in their care, patients can make informed decisions and take necessary steps to minimize the potential risks and complications associated with hip labrum repair.

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