Hip labral tear

The labrum is a ring of firm tissue (cartilage) in the hip joint. It forms a cup that helps keep the bones of the hip joint in place and helps keep the joint stable. A labral tear may be caused by things such as an injury while playing contact sports. Another possible cause is normal wear and tear on the hip joint. Or it may be caused by a problem with the way the hip is formed. For example, some people are born with a thighbone that doesn’t fit tightly into the hip socket (hip dysplasia).


Symptoms of a labral tear of the hip may include:

  • Pain in the groin, hip, or buttock
  • Popping, clicking, or catching in the hip joint
  • A stiff or unstable hip join


A labral tear can be hard to diagnose. The doctor may use imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI. A special dye may be injected into your hip before you have an MRI scan. This type of scan is called an MRI arthrogram.


Rest and home care may reduce the symptoms of a labral tear. The doctor may also recommend exercises to make your hip stronger and more stable. Sometimes a steroid shot may be given to provide short-term relief from pain.

If these treatments don’t help, you may have a type of surgery called arthroscopy. This surgery is done through small cuts (incisions) near the joint. It lets the doctor get a close look at the injury and do some repairs at the same time.


How can you care for a labral tear of the hip?

  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Rest and protect your hip. Take a break from any activity, including standing or walking, that may cause pain.
  • If your doctor recommended using a cane or crutches, use them as directed. This can help relieve stress on the hip.
  • Do exercises and stretching as directed by your therapist or doctor.

Copyrighted material adapted with permission from Healthwise, Incorporated. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.


CALL 859-323-5533 Secure online form