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What Is a Labral Tear in the Hip?

A hip labral tear is an injury that affects the labrum, a ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip joint socket. The labrum serves as a cushioning seal that holds the top of the thigh bone (femur) securely in place.

A labral tear can result from trauma to the hip joint. Individuals who participate in contact sports such as football, soccer and hockey are particularly susceptible to this type of injury. Additionally, repetitive motions that involve twisting or pivoting the hip, such as those common in golf and softball, can create wear and tear on the joint and eventually lead to a torn labrum.

What does a hip labral tear feel like?

While a torn labrum may not produce any symptoms, it can potentially cause:

  • Pain in the hip, groin or buttocks
  • A locking, clicking or catching sensation in the hip joint
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the hip

How is a hip labral tear treated?

A torn labrum will not heal on its own, but mild symptoms can often be managed with rest and other nonsurgical remedies, such as:

  • Medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can reduce painful inflammation.
  • Physical therapy – A physician or physical therapist can recommend specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the hip muscles.
  • Injections – A powerful anti-inflammatory medication can be injected directly into the painful area of the hip.

To address severe or persistent symptoms, surgery may be considered to repair or reconstruct damaged labral tissue or remove (debride) a small piece of the labrum.

The orthopedic specialists at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, offer a full range of conservative and surgical treatment options for a hip labral tear. When surgery is appropriate, our experienced surgeons perform arthroscopic hip surgeries and hip resurfacing procedures, as well as total and partial hip replacements.

If you’d like to have your hip labral tear evaluated by a specialist at any of our state-of-the-art orthopedic clinics located throughout the Houston, TX, area, contact us to schedule a consultation today.