Bone and Joint Blog

Hip Labral Tears: Types and Treatment Options

Posted Jul 28, 2022 3:52:30 PM

Hip labral tears are common in athletes who compete in high-impact sports, but they can affect anyone. Tears can happen due to gradual wear on the labrum –  the ring of cartilage on the socket part of your hip joint – as well as from single, traumatic injuries. Some people get labral tears because of abnormalities in the shape of the ball or socket of the hip joint, a condition called hip impingement. 

Symptoms of hip labral tears include limited range of motion or hip stiffness, a locking or clicking sensation in your hip joint when you move, and general pain in your hip, groin or buttocks. Treatment can include surgery, but it depends on the specific type of hip labral tear.

Types of Hip Labral Tears

The severity of hip labral tears can vary. Tears can occur as frays at the edges of the labrum or, in more extreme cases, a section of the labrum can separate from the socket bone itself. Since a hip labral tear can occur along any part of the labrum, doctors use the below terms to define where it has taken place:  

  • Anterior hip labral tear – this term describes tears that occur on the front of the hip joint. These are the most common type of hip labral tear.
  • Posterior hip labral tear – this term describes tears that occur on the back of the hip joint.

Treatment Options for Hip Labral Tears

Your doctor may use physical exams, X-rays and MRI scans to determine the type and severity of hip labral tear. Hip labral tears do not heal on their own, but if your tear is minor, it’s possible to manage the symptoms without surgery. Treatment options include:

  • Non-surgical treatments – these include rest and activity modifications, orthopedic physical therapy, over-the-counter medications and steroid injections.  

  • Surgery – if your hip labral tear is severe and you still experience symptoms after trying non-surgical treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery. The most common surgery to repair hip labral tears is arthroscopic surgery in which several small incisions are made to access the hip. With the help of an arthroscope – a special camera device – the surgeon can locate the labral tear and use surgical tools to repair it.

Hip Care in Baton Rouge

Hip pain is no fun which is why we want to get you back to moving more and hurting less. As leaders in assessing, diagnosing and treating hip injuries, our team of hip experts will provide a treatment plan centered around you. Take the first step towards living without hip pain by scheduling an appointment today.