Innovative Hip Procedures: The Bone and Joint Institute Offering Total Labral Reconstructions of the Hip

Usually when you hear the word labrum, the first thing that comes to mind is football and baseball players who have to undergo shoulder surgery. But did you know you also have a labrum in your hip?

Colin Looney, M.D., a hip and knee specialist at the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee, says injuries to the labrum in the hip are actually much more common than you would think.

“Much of my practice over the last 12 years has been labral repairs of the hip for individuals with a tear or an injury,” Looney said. “However, with new procedures being developed to treat labrum injuries, we’re able to help patients get better outcomes from their procedures through reconstructions.”

Looney performs a variety of orthopaedic procedures for the hip, knee and shoulder; but his particular expertise is in labral repair and now labral reconstructions of the hip. He is one of the only surgeons in Tennessee currently performing entire or global labral reconstructions of the hip, a relatively new procedure.


The labrum is a spongy ring of cartilage that cushions the hip joint and provides support to hold the ball of the hip securely within the socket. Even with a healthy joint, Looney says, the labrum is susceptible to tears, especially among athletic individuals.

For patients with a labrum injury, there are several options for treatment. For some patients, partial labral reconstruction will be more successful than a labral repair.

“When a patient has a labral tear of the hip, it can cause a significant amount of pain and limit the range of motion,” Looney said. “We’re able to repair a torn labrum quite well; but for patients who have had previous labral surgeries, repairs are not always the best option, and sometimes reconstruction will provide a better outcome.”

In fact, for patients with chronic issues of the labrum, entire reconstructions could be the best option. During an entire labral reconstruction, the damaged tissue, previous grafts or injured parts of the labrum in the hip are removed, and the entire structure is rebuilt.


While the surgery for an entire labral reconstruction is longer and more involved, Looney says it can give patients a chance to heal that they may not otherwise have had.

“There are some patients who have had so much damage to their labrum that it’s not able to be repaired or partially reconstructed,” Looney said. “By doing a complete labral reconstruction of the hip, we’re able to relieve a patient’s pain and give them back an entire, healthier labrum than they had to begin with. This procedure may also help some patients avoid a joint replacement.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Looney, please call (615) 791-2630.


Colin Looney, M.D., is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in care of the hip, knee and shoulder and sports medicine. He also treats patients for general orthopaedic problems, such as fracture care. Looney earned his medical degree and completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. He then completed a sports medicine fellowship at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic (now the Steadman Clinic) in Vail, Colo., and earned an additional certificate of qualification in sports medicine. He enjoys serving as team physician for Battle Ground Academy and Centennial High School in Franklin, as well as working as an event physician at local sporting events such as the annual Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville. In addition to athletic events, Looney enjoys spending time fly-fishing and hunting. He and his wife, Mary, have two children and live in Franklin.