Is the labrum removed during hip replacement surgery?

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The word "removed" is not exactly accurate.

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the top of the hip socket (shown in blue in this illustration). It's usually very damaged by the time a hip replacement is needed. Arthritis can wear it away and it can have tears that compromise it's ability to cushion the joint.

1585696923864.png


During a hip replacement surgery, in preparation for the placement of the metal socket in the acetabulum, the labrum is reamed out using a specially shaped tool.

1585778222215.png


You can see the tool and the process in the illustration above. Several different sizes of reamers may be used to complete the job and once it's done, the labrum is gone for the most part. "Removed" is not a good description as it implies that it is cut away and separated from the socket. The reaming process is different even though the result is basically the same. When the acetabular cup is placed and the liner put in place, the socket is very stable and ready to accept the new ball.

Following surgery, the muscles of the hip must adjust to the new implant and the way it works. This is why people need to not be too crazy with activity immediately following surgery. There are specific movements that, in most cases, should be curtailed for a while.
 

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