The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The rounded head of the upper femur (thighbone) fits firmly into the socket of the pelvis, and together they make up the hip joint. The socket is lined by a layer of articular cartilage known as the labrum. The labrum aids in stability of the hip joint and acts as a cushion to reduce friction and distribute force evenly. Sometimes different injuries or structural abnormalities can lead to a tear in the labrum.
Hip labral tears can be caused by degenerative or traumatic factors. Typically, tears in the labrum are caused by sports or other activities that involve the hip, such as soccer, ballet, football, ice hockey, or golf. Hip labral tears can also be associated with other conditions of the hip such as hip dysplasia or hip impingement.
Treatment for a labral tear depends on the severity of your symptoms. Many people will recover fully with conservative treatment, while some cases may require surgery. Nonsurgical treatment options include:
Generally, if conservative treatment does not relieve symptoms within 3-6 months, surgery may be recommended. If the labrum does not heal on its own, a minimally invasive surgery is usually performed arthroscopically to repair or remove damaged tissue.