Hip Labral Tear

The labrum is a type of cartilage that surrounds the socket of ball-and-socket joints, such as the hip. It is designed to stabilize the joint and also allow for flexibility and motion.

A tear in this ring of cartilage is a hip labral tear and can be caused in one of two ways:

  • A degenerative hip labral tear is the result of overuse and wear-and-tear and can be seen in the early stages of hip osteoarthritis.
  • An acute hip labral tear is caused by a fall, a sports injury or any other traumatic impact.

Hip Labral Tear Symptoms

A hip labral tear can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are the same as other common hip conditions such as a groin strain, snapping hip syndrome, sports hernia or other sports injuries of the hip. Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital experts will work closely with you to correctly diagnose this condition.

Symptoms can include:

  • Groin pain
  • Clicking and snapping sensations in the hip
  • Limited motion of the hip joint

Your doctor will most likely need an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatments for Hip Labral Tear

Conservative Treatments

Hip labral tear treatment is evolving quickly. Early hip labral tear treatment begins conservatively and can include:

  • Rest – The hip labral tear can cause inflammation around the joint. Rest will help the inflammation settle down.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications – Anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful in diminishing inflammation from the hip labral tear. If the inflammation subsides, the symptoms may resolve.
  • Physical Therapy Physical therapists can use various techniques to improve hip function by strengthening and balancing the muscles around the hip labral tear.
  • Cortisone Shot – A cortisone shot can be an effective short-term treatment for a hip labral tear.


If conservative treatments fail to take care of the pain, your Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital doctor may decide to perform hip labral tear surgery as a hip arthroscopy. Your surgeon will use an instrument with a small camera on the end of it to get a close up view of your tear.

Treatment usually consists of shaving out the torn portion of the labrum. In some larger hip labral tears, your doctor may attempt a repair. Recovery from hip labral tear arthroscopy can take up to 12-16 weeks, depending on the extent of the repair. Physical therapy will help rebuild strength and flexibility in your hip joint