What is a hip labral tear?

A hip labral tear occurs as a result of a tear in the labrum which holds the ball part of the ball-and-socket hip joint in place. This type of injury often occurs during a sports injury or a car accident. This type of injury may also occur as a result of continuous repetitive motions on the hip joint. Some people may also be born with an abnormality in their hip that makes them more susceptible to developing a hip injury. Some people may never experience any signs or symptoms from a hip labral tear. However, other people may experience significant pain, stiffness, or a limited range of motion in their groin or hip.


Many people who develop hip labral tears often do not experience any signs or symptoms. However, some people may experience signs or symptoms. Signs or symptoms that occur with a hip labral tear may include a locking, clicking or catching sensation in your hip joint, pain in your hip or groin, or stiffness or limited range of motion in your hip joint. It is important to see a doctor if you symptoms get worse or do not get better within about six weeks of the initial injury.

There are a number of things that can cause a hip labral tear. A hip labral tear could be caused by a type of trauma, a structural abnormality, or from repetitive motions. A hip labral injury as a result of a trauma could be due to an injury to or dislocation of the hip joint. This may occur with a car accident or while playing a contact sport such as football or rugby. A hip labral tear that occurs as a result of a structural abnormality may be due to a person being born with hip problems that makes them at a greater risk for developing a hip injury due to having a weak hip joint. Lastly, a hip labral tear that occurs as a result of repetitive motions may be the result of a sports injury or other physical activity where a person is performing sudden twist or pivot motions. These types of motions are common in sports like golf or softball and with enough wear and tear, can eventually cause a hip labral tear.

Treatment for a hip labral tear may include using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections for severe pain, or arthroscopic surgery to repair the labrum.