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Hip Labral tear

A hip labral tear involves the ring of cartilage (labrum) that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. In addition to cushioning the hip joint, the labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket.


Athletes who participate in such sports as ice hockey, soccer, football, golf and ballet are at higher risk of developing a hip labral tear. Structural abnormalities of the hip also can lead to a hip labral tear.


Many hip labral tears cause no signs or symptoms. Occasionally, however, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • A locking, clicking or catching sensation in your hip joint
  • Pain in your hip or groin
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in your hip joint


When to see a doctor

Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or don’t improve within six weeks.

The cause of a hip labral tear may be:

  • Trauma. Injury to or dislocation of the hip joint — which can occur during car accidents or from playing contact sports such as football or hockey — can cause a hip labral tear.
  • Structural abnormalities. Some people are born with hip problems that can accelerate wear and tear of the joint and eventually cause a hip labral tear.
  • Repetitive motions. Sports-related and other physical activities — including the sudden twisting or pivoting motions common in golf or softball — can lead to joint wear and tear that ultimately results in a hip labral tear.


A hip labral tear may predispose you to develop osteoarthritis in that joint in the future.


Treatment choices will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Some people recover with conservative treatments in a few weeks, while others may require arthroscopic surgery to repair or remove the torn portion of the labrum.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Pain can also be controlled temporarily with an injection of corticosteroids into the joint.



A physical therapist can teach you exercises to maximize hip range of motion and hip strength and stability. Therapists can also analyze the movements you perform that put stress on your hip joint and help you avoid these forces.

Surgical and other procedures

If conservative treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery — in which a fiber-optic camera and surgical tools are inserted via small incisions in your skin.

Depending on the cause and extent of the tear, the surgeon may cut out and remove the torn piece of labrum or repair the torn tissue by sewing it back together. This can be done arthroscopically. The period of rest is 1-2 weeks after the procedure. You can resume athletic activities after 3 months of the procedure. 


Other conditions which can cause Hip Pain

Hip Femoroacetabular Impingement

Hip Osteoarthritis

Avascular necrosis (AVN) of femoral head

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