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Labral Augmentation

What is labral augmentation surgery?

The labrum is an important fibrocartilage structures that lines the hip socket and provides stability to the hip joint through a suction seal. Consequently, damage to the labrum results in destabilization of the hip, restricted motion, and increased weakness. There are a variety of surgical procedures to fix this problem depending on the quality of the labrum. Reattaching the labrum to the rim of the socket is an option; however, this is not possible in patients with too little labral tissue. Another option includes removing the damaged labrum and replacing it with a graft, otherwise known as a labral reconstruction. In a subset of patients, the labral tissue near the rim is healthy, but there is not enough of it to maintain the suction seal, so removing the labrum is not necessary. In these cases, a labral augmentation is a relatively new alternative to reconstruction that is used to restore the stability of the joint. A labral augmentation surgery consists of using tissue from another part of the body (autograft) or a donor (allograft) and attaching it to the top of the native labrum to restore the suction seal. The blood supply of the native labrum is thought to help the graft heal postoperatively.

Who is a good candidate for labral augmentation surgery?

Labral augmentation surgery is indicated in patients with symptomatic labral deficiency but who have good tissue quality when evaluated during surgery. By preserving the native labral tissue, the graft is thought to heal better than if the native labrum was removed. This is an effective procedure to restore stability of the joint in patients with labral insufficiency before severe joint degeneration has occurred.

What does the procedure entail?

Hip labral augmentation of the hip may be performed arthroscopically. This is a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes small incisions with thin instruments and a small camera to see inside the joint. The quality of the native labral tissue is examined to confirm that it is healthy around the entire rim of the socket. Once verified, a graft from another part of the body (autograft) or a donor (allograft) is placed over the native labrum. The graft is secured to the labrum with sutures. Your surgeon will test to make sure the graft is the correct size and the suction seal is regained.

This procedure is performed in an outpatient surgery center. This means the patient will go home the same day of surgery once they have recovered from anesthesia.

At a Glance

Dr. Jorge Chahla

  • Triple fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon
  • Performs over 500 surgeries per year
  • Assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Rush University
  • Learn more

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