The hip labrum is the soft tissue that covers the acetabulum (the hip socket). As with the other ball-and-socket joints, the hip labrum helps the joint move smoothly within the socket. Labral tears may develop as a result of repetitive, high-impact movements involving the hip, such as in football, soccer, and golf. Degenerative changes can also wear down the cartilage over time resulting in tears.
Symptoms of a labral tear in the hip may include:
- Hip pain and stiffness
- Pain in the groin or buttocks
- Clicking or locking sound in the hip
- Feeling unsteady on your feet
Although a hip labral tear may be suspected in a physical examination, an MRI will show the extent and location of a labral tear, helping to determine the course of treatment.
Minor tears are often treated conservatively with anti-inflammatories, injections, and physical therapy. This will not heal the labral tear, but it may reduce symptoms. If the symptoms do not reside or the tear is severe, an arthroscopy may be required.