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Labral Tear

As people are living longer with active lifestyles, hip pain is becoming more common. One of the leading causes of hip pain is a tear of the labrum in the hip. The labrum lines the hip socket and provides a smooth surface for the head of the femur to glide within the socket. Labral tears can cause a locking or catching sensation in the joint during certain movements. They can cause hip pain and interfere with the joint’s normal range of motion. This condition is more common in athletes, especially those with repetitive hip rotation, such as hockey, soccer, football, and golf.

Causes and risk factors

  • Physical activity, especially repetitive motions
  • Sports injury
  • Sudden twisting motion
  • Trauma or diseases that injure the bone or cartilage of the hip joint


The symptoms of a labral tear vary, but the pain is most commonly felt deep in the groin. Many hip labral tears cause no signs or symptoms. Occasionally, however, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • A locking, clicking, or catching sensation in your hip joint
  • Pain in your hip or groin
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in your hip joint


Non-surgical treatments for labral tears include activity modification, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy. Surgical repair or removal may be an option, depending on the severity of the tear. If conservative treatments don’t work, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend arthroscopic surgery, where a small camera and surgical tools are inserted via small incisions in your skin. Depending on the cause and extent of the tear, the surgeon may cut out and remove the torn piece of labrum or repair the torn tissue by sewing it back together.