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Hip Instability

Chondral Lesions or Injuries


The most common symptoms of hip instability include

  • Pain
  • Laxity
  • Giving away of the hip
  • Producing a clicking sound
  • Dislocation


Hip instability can be traumatic or atraumatic. Traumatic instability can be caused by injuries from sports or motor vehicle accidents. These injuries can damage the bony structures, labrum, and cartilage of the hip joint and can form loose bodies. It can range from severe dislocation to a simple subluxation (partial displacement) of the hip joint. Atraumatic instability can be caused by overuse or developmental/congenital abnormalities of the hip joint.

Conditions that can cause hip instability include:

  • Labral and ligament tears
  • Hip dysplasia (misaligned hip joint bones)
  • Femoro acetabular impingement (abnormally shaped hip joint bones)
  • Tears to the ligamentum teres


Your doctor will diagnosis hip instability based on your medical history and physical examination. Imaging studies such as plain X-rays, MRI, and MRI arthography (use of a contrast agent) may also be ordered to confirm instability. Your doctor may also perform hip instability tests such as posterior impingement or dial test; both of which involve simple range of motion exercises.


Your doctor may start you off on a conservative/non-operative treatment approach such as protected weight bearing (crutch, cane, or wheelchair) and referral to a physical therapist for exercises. A physical therapist will instruct on special exercises, focused on improving your strength, balance, and flexibility.

When conservative options fail to resolve your symptoms or if you have large fractures, you may be recommended to undergo surgical management. Surgery can be arthroscopic (minimally invasive) or open depending on your condition. Most of the common causes for hip instability, such as damage to the hip capsule and ligaments surrounding the joint, and labral tears can be rectified arthroscopically. Your doctor will be the best person to address your concerns and help you overcome your instability.


Dr. Jason K. Lowry has practiced as an orthopedic surgery specialist in Mansfield, TX for 15 years. He graduated from Creighton University School Of Medicine in 2003 and specializes in orthopedic surgery. “I treat my patients like family,” he says. “Getting folks back on their feet and enjoying life again is quite rewarding. I have a really fun job.” Dr. Lowry received his doctorate of medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine (omaha, ne) in 2003, his residency at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2008, and his fellowship at the Adult Reconstruction Center for Joint Preservation and Replacement Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics. Dr. Lowry has been recognized for his hard work, philanthropy, and care. In 2017, he was recognized as a distinguished medical member of the American arthritis foundation and has been consistently recognized by his orthopedic peers as a top doc and super doc in north texas. He thoroughly enjoys helping patients regain their mobility and get back to enjoying their lives again. aside from his many accomplishments as an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lowry enjoys spending time with his family and relaxing at home.