Labral Tear of the Hip

A labral tear of the hip occurs in the ring of cartilage (labrum) around the hip’s socket. The labrum acts as a cushion to the joint. When it tears, the hip joint may stop working smoothly, causing pain and a catching or clicking sensation when moving the leg.


Labral tears of the hip are most commonly seen in athletes and ballet dancers. Structural problems involving the shape of the hip can cause the labrum to tear. In some cases, degeneration from osteoarthritis in the hip joint can also lead to a tear.


Most labral tears of the hip result in pain at the front of the hip and groin, a clicking or catching sensation in the hip, and stiffness. However, some labral tears of the hip result in no signs or symptoms.


Physicians will consider symptoms and medical history to diagnose labral tears of the hip. A physical exam assessing pain and range of motion in the hip will also occur. X-rays are usually used to confirm a labral tear while also indicating other structural conditions such as arthritis.


Treatment typically includes anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy. If conservative treatments are not effective, surgery may be recommended.

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