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Hip Labral Tear

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Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome


A labral tear of the hip joint is a tear to the cartilage lining of the hip joint, called the acetabulum which acts as cushioning for the joint. A tear can cause hip and groin pain and make the joint stiff.


Information Video

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain in the hip or groin.
  • A clicking or locking of the joint can occur.
  • Stiffness and restricted mobility in the hip joint is likely.
  • Symptoms may come on suddenly following an impact or trauma but can also develop gradually if the joint progressively degenerates.


Labral tears can be acute, caused by trauma such as traffic accidents, collisions, and bad falls, falling on to the outside of the hip or twisting on a hip that has a lot of weight on it. They can also be of gradual onset through repetitive strain on the hip – for example in golfers,  which causes an impingement of the labrum known as Femoroacetabular impingement.


69% of people aged 15-66 have a labral tear and have no symptoms (Resister et al., 2012).

Assessment & Diagnosis

Your Physiotherapist will ask for a full history of your injury and symptoms so they can understand which structures may be contributing. A full objective examination will then be performed to help form a working diagnosis.


The hip is a complex joint with many articulating soft tissue structures that may be the source of pain which can make diagnosis complicated. However, if your Physiotherapist suspects a labral tear – depending on the severity of your symptoms and functional limitations, they may refer you for imaging which will confirm your diagnosis. Being given an accurate and timely diagnosis will ensure the most appropriate and effective treatment can be given so that the best possible outcomes are achieved.


Your Physiotherapist will provide you with information on your injury and ways in which you can help to recover. To ensure your body can heal as well as possible, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, take relative rest, and, use anti-inflammatory & pain medications.


Your Physiotherapist at Pure will design a individualised exercise plan to build strength in the muscles around your hip. The Physio will take in to account your physical capabilities and personal goals and tailor your exercises to them. Your pain may lessen during your strengthening and relative rest period, however, it is possible that the pain may return upon return normal activities. To address this, you will be regularly re-assessed to make sure you are progressing towards your goals and all the necessary adjustments in your activity and exercises will be made.

Escalation of Treatment

Those patients with minor labral tears that respond well to conservative management can usually return to sport or activity in approximately 2 – 6 weeks. However, when conservative management is unable to control the patient’s symptoms, surgical intervention may be considered. Should these circumstances arise, your Physiotherapist will discuss your options and may refer you to an orthopedic specialist or a consultant. For minor tears managed surgically, patients can sometimes return to sport or activity within 4 – 8 weeks. In moderate to severe tears, patients will require a significantly longer rehabilitation period.


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