Labral tear of the hip joint

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A labral tear of the hip joint involves the cartilage lining called the acetabulum that functions as a cushion for the joint. The hip joint socket where the thigh bone is positioned is called the acetabulum. It is lined by a ring of cartilage called the labrum. It is important to note that the labrum is responsible for cushioning and supporting the hip joint. A labral tear is likely to occur but it is easy to diagnose with MRI scans.

What are the indications?

  • Groin or hip pain
  • Clicking or locking sensation of the joint
  • Stiffness and limited mobility of the joint
    Labral tear of the hip joint
    The symptoms might arise abruptly after an blunt force or trauma but can also arise in a gradual manner if the joint deteriorates progressively.

The symptoms might arise abruptly after an blunt force or trauma but can also arise in a gradual manner if the joint deteriorates progressively.

Possible causes

A labral tear can be acute, usually due to trauma such as collisions, vehicular accidents, falls onto the outside of the hip or twisting of the hip with significant weight on it.

It can also be gradual in onset due to repetitive strain on the hip. Impingement of the labrum is also a factor. There are 2 forms of impingement that can occur either in isolation or certain forms might have both at the same time.

  • Cam impingement – this occurs if the neck of the femur or thigh bone enlarges or thickened due to excess bone growth. This results to compression on the hip joint and eventually damage to the labrum.
  • Pincer impingement – occurs if there is bony growth at the acetabulum that presses on the femur.


The treatment requires surgery specifically debridement via arthroscopy. The damaged part of the labral tear is taken out. Generally, the results of this procedure are good. A rehabilitation schedule is in progress after the surgical procedure to reinstate full strength and movement of the hip joint as well as prevent further instability or injuries.

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