Why Can’t Lady Gaga Walk? Why Does She Need Surgery?

Lady Gaga announced today that she will have to postpone several shows due to injury. Lady G posted this message on Facebook:

There’s an unfortunate announcement coming out right now, concerning myself and the Born This Way Ball. Im so sorry. I barely know what to say. I’ve been hiding a show injury and chronic pain for sometime now, over the past month it has worsened. I’ve been praying it would heal. I hid it from my staff, I didn’t want to disappoint my amazing fans. However after last nights performance I could not walk and still can’t.

Her Twitter page explained a little more:


Which joint is involved has not been revealed. It is also unknown whether this is related to Lady Gaga’s history of “borderline lupus.”

What is Synovitis?


Normal joint

The synovium is a thin membrane in synovial (freely moving) joints. Examples of synovial joints include the knee and hip joints.

The synovium lines the joint  and secretes a transparent, viscous fluid called synovial fluid. It serves as a lubricant in the joint that allows the cartilages and ligaments to move smoothly.

Synovitis is an inflammation of the synovium. The condition is usually painful, especially when the joint is moved. The joint usually swells due to collection of the synovial fluid. The joint may also feel warm to touch.




Synovitis may occur in association with arthritis as well as lupus, gout, and other conditions. Synovitis is more commonly found in rheumatoid arthritis than in other forms of arthritis.

Long term occurrence of synovitis can result in degeneration of the joint.

Synovitis symptoms can be treated by with anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Steroids may injected directly into the affected joint. Specific treatment depends on the underlying cause of the synovitis.

Here’s wishing Lady G a quick recovery!




UPDATE: February 14, 2013

It was announced this morning that Lady Gaga will be suspending her tour as she will undergo hip surgery. Live Nation Global Touring put out the following announcement:

ANNOUNCEMENT: Live Nation Global Touring has confirmed that the remainder of the Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball performances have been cancelled.

After additional tests this morning to review the severity of the issue, it has been determined that Lady Gaga has a labral tear of the right hip. She will need surgery to repair the problem, followed by strict down time to recover. This unfortunately, will force her to cancel the tour so she can heal.

Refunds for the cancelled performances, including the one at The Palace, will be available at point of purchase starting Feb 14, 2013.

labrum of hipA labrum is a type of cartilage that surrounds the socket of ball-and-socket joints, such as those of the shoulder and hip. This ring of cartilage provides extra stability to the joint by making the socket deeper. In the case of the hip, it makes it more difficult for the femur (thigh bone) to slip out of the hip joint.

The labrum can be torn in two ways

  1. Denegenerative: Chronic trauma to the hip wears the labrum away
  2. Acute trauma- from a sports injury or fall.

Labrum-tear-350x342Symptoms of a hip labral tear include pain in the groin, limited movement of the hip, and a clicking or snapping sensation in the hip.

Repair of a torn labrum is usually done arthroscopically. A small camera is placed into the hip joint to evaluate the damage. The torn portion of the cartilage is shaved out.

Recovery from  hip arthroscopy procedures depends on the severity of the injury but typically lasts 6-12 weeks.


Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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