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Hip Labral Tear

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Hip Labral Tear

Introductory Video

What is a labral tear?

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.


Labral tear symptoms

Labral tear symptoms

  • Symptoms of a labral tear include 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.
  • However 69% of people aged 15-66 have a labral tear and are non-symptomatic (Resister et al., 2012).
  • Over half the population have labral tears and have no symptoms (pain/stiffness).


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 can also be a factor as an impingement of the labrum, known as Femoroacetabular impingement.


Those patients with minor labral tears that respond well to conservative management can usually return to sport or activity in approximately 2 – 6 weeks.


For minor tears that are managed surgically, patients can sometimes return to sport or activity within 4 – 8 weeks, although some patients (especially when the tear is moderate to severe) will require a significantly longer rehabilitation period.

Exercise management and self help

Maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and other pain medications if necessary. Gentle regular Physiotherapy exercises. You pain may lessen during this period but it is possible that the pain may return once the patient returns to his normal activities.


When conservative management is unable to control the patient’s symptoms, surgical intervention may be considered.

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