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Definition

A hip labral tear is an injury to the soft tissue (labrum) around the socket of the hip joint.

Hip Joint and Cartilage
Hip cartilage
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Causes

Causes may be:

  • Health problems that cause the hip joint to wear down, such as osteoarthritis
  • Trauma from things like a motor vehicle accident or a fall onto the hip
  • Repetitive movements in sports, such as golf

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bending forward, running, jumping, or twisting from activities such as:
    • Skiing
    • Cycling
    • Horseback riding
    • Golf
    • Softball
  • Health problems of the hip, such as femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAI) or hip dysplasia

Symptoms

Problems may be:

  • Hip pain
  • Groin, buttock, or thigh pain
  • Locking or clicking of the hip
  • Hip instability
  • Pain during activity

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may be asked about the activities that you do and when the pain started. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the hip.

Images of the hip may be taken. This can be done with:

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms to give the hip time to heal. Treatments may include:

  • Limiting activities to let the hip rest
  • Medicine to ease pain
  • Physical therapy to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Wearing a brace to support the hip

Some people may need surgery. The torn labrum may be removed or sewn together.

Prevention

There are no guidelines to prevent a hip labral tear.

RESOURCES

Arthroscopy Association of North America  http://www.aana.org 

OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons  http://orthoinfo.aaos.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Orthopaedic Association  http://www.coa-aco.org 

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation  http://www.canorth.org 

References

Crockett M, Aherne E, et al. Groin Pain in Athletes: A Review of Diagnosis and Management. Surg Technol Int. 2015 May;26:275-282.

Hip labral tear. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17756-hip-labral-tear. Updated March 8, 2018. Accessed May 13, 2020.

Labrum tears. Cedars Sinai website. Available at: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Labrum-Tears.aspx. Accessed May 14, 2020.

Sports-related groin pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/sports-related-groin-pain  . Updated October 31, 2019. Accessed May 13, 2020.

What is a hip labral tear or strain? Mercy Health website. Available at: https://www.mercy.com/health-care-services/orthopedics-sports-medicine-spine/specialties/hip/conditions/hip-labral-tear-strain. Accessed May 14, 2020.

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