Hip Labral Tear

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What is a hip labral tear?

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that runs along the outside rim of your hip joint socket. It works to keep the head of your femur, which is the top of your thighbone, secure within the socket. A tear in this cartilage is a labral tear.


Many people don’t experience any hip labral tear symptoms, or their symptoms are so mild that they’re easily dismissed. Those that do experience symptoms may experience one or a combination of the following:

  • Hip pain, often felt in the front of the hip
  • Groin pain
  • A “locking” or “catching” sensation in the hip joint
  • Clicking in the hip joint
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain during movement

What caused my hip labral tear?

A hip labral tear can have an array of causes. Acute injury to the hip joint, including dislocation, can cause a labral tear. Hip injuries are most often caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, contact sports, such as football. Activities that involve repetitive twisting or other motions can cause the cartilage to wear down, resulting in a hip labral tear. Structural abnormalities and degenerative diseases can also contribute to labral tears.


The risk of incurring a hip labral tear is increased by:

  • Being overweight
  • Participating in activities that put excess strain on the hips, such as running
  • Participating in contact sports, such as football or hockey
  • Having a degenerative disease, such as osteoarthritis
  • Having hip dysplasia or other abnormality of the hip


Diagnosing a hip labral tear begins with getting your medical history and a physical examination. Your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms in detail, including which motions bring on or worsen your symptoms. During the physical examination, the doctor will manipulate your leg and hip joint, trying various positions to try to pinpoint which movements cause pain and to test your range of motion.

Imaging scans commonly used to diagnose a hip labral tear include:

  • X-rays

    These images are able to clearly show damage in the bones, including bone spurs, and narrowing of the joint space associated with osteoarthritis.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    This type of scan produces 3-D images that show the bones and soft tissues in great detail, enabling the doctor to diagnose damage to the soft tissues.

Labral tears can be difficult to diagnose, and may require the use of an anesthetic injection into the joint space to help rule out problems within the hip joint that can also cause symptoms similar to hip labral tear symptoms. Pain is more likely to be caused by another problem in the hip joint if the injection relieves your pain.


Once you have been officially diagnosed, the least invasive treatment options are recommended first and used for several weeks. Hip labral tear surgery may be recommended if other treatments fail to provide relief of symptoms or if the damage is extensive.

AROmotion is a cutting-edge solution for pain caused by joint injuries and degenerative disorders, including hip labral tears. Our unique, minimally invasive treatment procedures are needle-based, meaning that there is no incision and no surgical recovery period. AROmotion preserves your natural hip joint, promotes natural healing, and restores your mobility faster than other treatments!

Other labral tear hip treatment may include one or more of the following options:

  • Weight loss

    This minimizes the load placed on your hip and other joints, which can relieve pain and help to lessen future damage on the joints. If you are overweight, losing just a few pounds can result in significant improvement of pain.

  • Pain medication

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and other pain relievers can reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Physical therapy

    Specific exercises can help improve flexibility and strength, as well as improve your range of motion.

  • Cortisone steroid injections

    A combination of cortisone and a numbing agent is injected directly into the hip for quick relief of pain and inflammation.

  • Hyaluronic acid injections

    These injections use a fluid similar to the thick fluid found in our joints that provide lubrication so the joint can move better.

  • Radiofrequency ablation

    Also known as denervation, this is a method of temporarily turning off or blocking the nerves from sending pain signals while other therapies have time to take effect.

  • PRP injections

    PRP, or platelet-rich plasma therapy, injects proteins called growth factors, which help support healing in injured areas.

  • Stem cell injections

    Physician directed stem cell therapy uses very powerful young cells to stimulate the patient’s own native repair mechanisms to regenerate new cartilage.

  • Hip arthroscopy

    This method is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed via tiny incisions using a fiber-optic camera.

If pain or stiffness resulting from a hip labral tear is preventing you from moving freely, contact the skilled team at Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics to find out how we can help you get back to a pain-free life!