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Hip Labral Tears

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Hip Labral Tears


A hip labral tear is an injury to the soft tissue (labrum) around the socket of the hip joint.

Hip Joint and Cartilage.

Hip cartilagehttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=77447744si55550585_105433_1.jpgsi55550585NULLjpgHip cartilageNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\si55550585_105433_1.jpgNULL95NULL2008-12-16281400Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Causes may be:

  • Health problems that cause the hip joint to wear down, such as osteoarthritis
  • Trauma from things like a motor vehicle accident or a fall onto the hip
  • Repetitive movements in sports, such as golf

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bending forward, running, jumping, or twisting from activities such as:
    • Skiing
    • Cycling
    • Horseback riding
    • Golf
    • Softball
  • Health problems of the hip, such as femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAI) or hip dysplasia


Problems may be:

  • Hip pain
  • Groin, buttock, or thigh pain
  • Locking or clicking of the hip
  • Hip instability
  • Pain during activity


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. You may be asked about the activities that you do and when the pain started. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the hip.

Images of the hip may be taken. This can be done with:


The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms to give the hip time to heal. Treatments may include:

  • Limiting activities to let the hip rest
  • Medicine to ease pain
  • Physical therapy to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Wearing a brace to support the hip

Some people may need surgery. The torn labrum may be removed or sewn together.


There are no guidelines to prevent a hip labral tear.





  • Hip labral tear. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17756-hip-labral-tear.
  • Labrum tears. Cedars Sinai website. Available at: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Labrum-Tears.aspx.
  • Sports-related groin pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/sports-related-groin-pain.
  • What is a hip labral tear or strain? Mercy Health website. Available at: https://www.mercy.com/health-care-services/orthopedics-sports-medicine-spine/specialties/hip/conditions/hip-labral-tear-strain.


  • Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.