To make a long story short, Im a 38 yr old police officer and I fell in a duty related incident months ago. Ive been having trouble walking and have a lot of hip and shooting groin pains since. Got sent to physical therapy and the therapist suspects a torn hip labrum. I have an apt with an orthopedic surgeon in a few days, but it looks like I wont be on full duty for a while. Have any of you had or heard of officers with this type of injury? Im just curious what others had done to fix the prob and what the timeline was for their return to work.
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replied July 20th, 2011
Especially eHealthy

Actually, a lot of the initial work on labral tears was done in the military. It was found that a lot of soldiers with "groin strains" were not getting back to duty like they should. Further research into what was causing the problem lead to the acetabulum (hip socket).

It was found that in a lot of these soldiers, the labrum was torn. But, they had not had any significant injuries. It was then discovered that there was a problem called femoral-acetabular impingement (FAI) that could actually pinch the labrum and tear it.

FAI can be determined on plain hip x-rays, by special measurement, if the orthopedic surgeon is looking for it. If FAI is found, then usually an MRI arthrogram is done to look at the status of the labrum.

The labrum can be torn, or degenerate, without FAI also. They don't have to go together. But, there has been a high incidence of them showing up together.

If one or both of the conditions is significantly causing the patient problems, despite full nonoperative treatment, then usually a hip arthroscopy is done. The FAI can be shaved down and the labrum debrided. However, sometimes the surgeon just can't get to the area that he/she needs to (the hip is a very tight joint, in contrast to the knee or shoulder). So, the procedure has to be converted to an open one.

If the problem can be addressed through the 'scope, down time is not very long. However, one has to have realistic expectations. The surgery can correct somethings, clean up somethings, but it cannot make the hip "normal". But, it can make it better.

If the procedure has to go to an open one, then is just like any other major hip surgery. It'll take awhile to get over.

Also, rehabilitation and motivation play a big role as to whether or not someone gets back to full activity after surgery. The surgery can be technically great, but if the patient does not put forth an equally great effort in rehab, it is all for naught.

You need to ask the surgeon what caused the labral tear. Do you have FAI? Because if you do have FAI, and it is not addressed, then the labrum will just tear again.

Your surgeon will be the best to ask how long you will be out. He/she knows your case, what your studies look like, and what the proposed procedure is going to be.

Good luck on your future endeavors.
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replied July 21st, 2011
Thanks for your response. Im not sure if i have FAI. I know I will know a lot more in the coming weeks. Im just nervous about where this is going and what it may mean for my job. Thank you
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