A labral tear of the hip occurs most frequently in recreational and professional athletes who perform repeated hip flexion, especially runners, soccer players, hockey players, football players, golfers, and ballet dancers, but may also be related to early arthritis of the hip.

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, with the femoral head (ball) located within the acetabulum (socket). The labrum is the membrane of cartilage that lines the socket of the hip joint. It serves many functions:

  • Cushions the hip joint
  • Acts as a shock absorber
  • Helps to stabilize the hip joint
  • Holds the femoral head in place

When the labrum is damaged, frayed or torn, it can get pinched between the ball and socket, causing sharp pain with flexion and rotation of the hip. Patients may also experience groin pain, stiffness, and clicking and locking of the joint.

The specially trained hip experts at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will diagnose hip labral tears with a complete physical examination and additional tests and imaging studies to help pinpoint the exact cause of the hip pain.

Non-surgical treatment of a labral tear typically involves rest, modification of activities, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy to improve hip range of motion. If the hip pain continues, arthroscopic surgery can be beneficial in repairing the labral tear.