Hip Labral Tear

What Is A Labral Tear?

Tearing of the fibrocartilaginous rim that surrounds the hip joint socket.


What Are The Causes Of A Hip Labral Tear?

A labral tear may be caused by trauma (falls, hip dislocation, injury to the hip), repetitive motion (runners, sprinters, dancers), movement into extreme ranges of motion beyond typical range. One may be more at risk if they have conditions such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), arthritis, hip dysplasia, hypermobility) or play a sport requiring excessive hip motion or use (dance, soccer).


What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Acetabular Labral Tear?

Hip pain that may be dull or sharp that worsens with activity. It may also present with clicking, locking, or catching of the joint or feelings of hip instability or like the joint will give out. Anterior labral tears cause pain in the anterior (front) hip or in the groin and also cause pain with rotating the joint inward. Posterior tears cause lateral or deep buttock pain and also cause pain with rotating the joint outward. Typically walking, pivoting or changing positions can increase pain.


What Are The Risk Factors Of A Labral Tear?

Activities requiring repetitive or excessive hip motion. Individuals with hypermobility or altered hip anatomy.


How Is A Hip Labral Tear Diagnosed?

Labral tears may be diagnosed when patients exhibit signs and symptoms of a labral tear coupled with positive manual tests for the labrum. MRI imaging may also assist with diagnosis.


What Are The Possible Treatments For An Acetabular Labral Tear?

Physical therapy for labral tears aims to reduce pain and muscular tightness, increase hip strength and stability, and promote a good range of motion and joint mobility. A comprehensive PT program will also emphasize exercise and neuromuscular re-education to improve hip stability during both bilateral and single leg stance. PT may also include specific training for sports and plyometrics to ensure patients are ready to return to high-level activity. If labral tears do not resolve with conservative therapy then injection or surgery may be necessary.


Are There Preventative Steps Or Measures To Avoid A Labral Tear?

Maintaining hip strength and stability and avoiding activities that couple excessive motion and force.


What Are The Risks If A Hip Labral Tear Is Left Untreated?

Chronic pain, hip instability


Are There Other Related Conditions To A Labral Tear?

Individuals with certain conditions may be more likely to sustain a labral tear. Conditions include femoroacetabular impingement, connective tissue disorders, hip dislocation, hip fracture, hernias, etc.


Key Takeaways About Hip Labral Tears

  • Spring Forward PT’s focus on manual therapy is important for rehabbing a labral tear, as hands-on therapy treats muscular and joint dysfunctions and imbalances. This establishes a solid base for strengthening and stability training.
  • Exercises and stability drills performed on one leg are essential for rehabbing a hip injury. Stability at the hip promotes strength throughout the entire lower extremity, as well as proper force absorption and force distribution throughout the lower leg, from the foot all the way up to the hip. Spring Forward PT will provide each patient with exercises individualized to their presentation, needs, and goals.
  • Depending on the patient’s goals and level of activity, conservative treatment can be highly effective at treating pain and hip dysfunction without the patient ever requiring surgery.


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