Hip Labral Tear

The labrum is a ring of strong fibrocartilaginous tissue lining the socket of the hip joint. The labrum serves many functions: it acts as shock absorber, lubricates the joint, and keeps the joint fluid evenly distributed across the joint, like a head gasket in a car engine. It holds the head of the femur in place and prevents the lateral and vertical movement of the femur head within the joint. It also deepens the acetabular cavity and offers stability against femoral head translation.

A labral tear may be caused by trauma, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), hip hypermobility, dysplasia, and degeneration. It is common in athletes playing sports such as ice hockey, soccer, golf and ballet, but can also occur during many other athletic activities or simply activities of daily life. Structural abnormalities may also cause a hip labral tear. Patients may have hip pain, usually located in the groin. They may have clicking and locking of the joint and restricted range of motion. Patients may also experience dull pain on movement of the hip joint that may not subside with rest. A labral tear is usuaslly diagnosed by history and physical examination, with radiological imaging techniques as needed. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often appropriate for diagnosing a hip labral tear.

Your doctor may start with conservative treatment prescribing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and advising you to rest. These methods may offer symptomatic relief. If symptoms persist despite conservative treatment, surgery is often a good option to repair the torn labrum. Your doctor may perform arthroscopic surgery using fiber-optic camera and surgical instruments through the smaller incisions. Depending on the severity of tear, the damaged or torn labrum may be removed or may be sutured.