What is a hip labral tear?

A hip labral tear involves the ring of cartilage, called the labrum, that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. The labrum acts like a rubber seal to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket.

Who is at risk of hip labral tear?

Athletes who participate in sports such as ice hockey, soccer, football, golfing and ballet are at higher risk of developing a hip labral tear. Structural abnormalities of the hip can also lead to a hip labral tear. Many hip labral tears cause no signs or symptoms.

Symptoms of hip labral tear

Occasionally, however, you may experience one or more of the following:

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

Causes of hip labral tear

The cause of a hip labral tear may be:

  • Trauma. Injury to or dislocation of the hip joint—which can occur during car accidents or from playing contact sports such as football or hockey—can cause a hip labral tear
  • Structural abnormalities. Some people are born with hip problems that can accelerate wear and tear of the joint and eventually cause a hip labral tear
  • Repetitive motions. Sports-related and other physical activities—including the sudden twisting or pivoting motions common in golf or softball—can lead to joint wear and tear that ultimately results in a hip labral tear


It can be treated with corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and swelling, physical therapy or surgery to remove damaged tissue or sew the torn labral together.

Hip Fracture Surgery

The type of hip fracture repair surgery you may have generally depends on the location and severity of the fracture, whether the broken bones aren't properly aligned (displaced fracture), and your age and underlying health conditions.

Hip Injections

Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement surgery is an operation that removes the arthritic ball of the upper thigh bone as well as the damaged cartilage from the hip socket. This hip replacement operation creates a new weight-bearing surface and a smoothly functioning joint to relieve pain and allow you to return to daily activities

Hip Resurfacing Procedure

Hip resurfacing or resurfacing hip surgery is an alternative to hip replacement surgery. It is a bone conserving procedure that places a metal cap on the femoral head instead of amputating it.

Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatments

Some orthopaedic conditions are first treated with non-surgical procedures followed by surgery as the next step.

Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic Rehabilitation

As one of the most extensive programs at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, our primary focus is to help patients build strength, mobility and endurance for a variety of orthopaedic conditions.

Joint Replacement

Whether your journey leads to hip or knee replacement or some other type of treatment that relieves your day-to-day pain and improves mobility, Main Line Health walks with you from pre-op arrangements to on-site physical therapy to recovering soundly at home—and everything in between.