Hip Labrum Repair and Microfracture

One Patients Story to Treatment and Recovery

““I like the AlterG because it gives my patients a way of non-painful, controlled weight-bearing early in the recovery period. Studies show that an earlier return to activity prevents atrophy of supporting muscles, decreases swelling, and improves outcomes.””

Dr. Lance Silverman, Orthopedic Surgeon

One Patients Treatment for a Hip Labrum Repair and Microfracture

Alison E. Barker, PT


25 y/o male visually impaired sprinter, diagnosed with a superior anterior labrum tear. Running is a repetitive activity, sprinting is an explosive and high impact activity.

  • Athlete was treated conservatively for 4 months for chronic hip pain
  • Diagnostic radiology showed a torn hip labrum, athlete chose surgical intervention

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  • Following release to weight-bearing, incorporate de-weighting into rehabilitation protocol
  • Develop a progressive return to activity
  • Maintain fitness and function during rehabilitation
  • Return to participation

History / Progression

I. Plan

  • Athlete was diagnosed with a hip labral tear, with defects to the chondral surface
  • Upon consultation with treating physician and review of diagnostic imaging, the athlete elected to undergo surgery to repair the torn hip labrum. A microfracture procedure was also performed
  • Athlete underwent 3 weeks of inpatient physical therapy because he is visually impaired
  • After physician release to partial weight-bearing, a complementary conditioning program was developed incorporating the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill®
  • Along with traditional medical treatment: modalities, therapeutic exercise and NSAID’s, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill® was added to the treatment protocol
  • Program duration was for 7 months
  • AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill® was incorporated after 3 weeks of rehabilitation once athlete was cleared for partial weight-bearing
  • Athlete achieved desired competition goals and returned to full participation

II. Considerations

  • Pain/ soreness levels were considered and used to gauge weight percentage and speed. Pain level reported by athlete was not to exceed 4 on a scale of 1-10 during Phase I, and not to exceed 3 on a scale of 1-10 during Phases II-IV
  • Gait training was incorporated into treatment protocol
  • Athlete feedback was considered prior to each workout

III. Progression

Download Case Study to see Table 1 and Table 2.


The athlete was released for return to sport by the treating physician after 28 weeks of physical therapy exercise. The athlete achieved the goals of the rehabilitation plan, incorporating a progressive sport specific conditioning plan to transition the athlete to full participation. The AlterG physical therapy equipment was incorporated into the athlete’s rehabilitation plan to maintain fitness, manage gait and progressively increase impact on the extremity.

The athlete resumed full activity after release from rehabilitation and continued using the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill® as part of the reconditioning and sport specific training program.