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Hip Labral Tear

What is a hip labral tear?

This term is used to describe a tear to a type of cartilage in the hip. The hip is a ball and socket joint. The labrum is the cartilage that forms a rim around the socket portion of the joint. This cushions the joint, allowing freedom and ease of movement. It also helps to keep the joint in place.

What are the signs of a hip labral tear?

Often a patient will not have any symptoms, but occasionally this tear can cause the hip to "catch" or lock, and the tear may also cause pain.

What causes a hip labral tear?

Usually a tear is due to injury or degeneration from something like arthritis. It can also happen due to growth- or development-related changes in the joint.

How does my doctor tell if I have a hip labral tear?

Your physician will do a physical exam. However, because it's deep inside the hip joint, a doctor sometimes can't tell if the labrum is torn. Therefore, an MRI (magnetic resonance image) using a contrast solution is sometimes done to be sure.

How is a hip labral tear treated?

Your doctor will most likely prescribe physical therapy at first. If the pain is very bad, the doctor may recommend injections into your hip. As a last resort, a hip arthroscopy may need to be done to remove the torn portion of the labrum.

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