Hip Labral Tears

Pronounced: Hip Lay-bral Tears


A hip labral tear is an injury to the soft tissue (labrum) around the socket of the hip joint.

Hip Joint and Cartilage

Hip cartilage
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Causes may be:

  • Health problems that cause the hip joint to wear down, such as osteoarthritis
  • Trauma from things like a motor vehicle accident or a fall onto the hip
  • Repetitive movements in sports, such as golf

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bending forward, running, jumping, or twisting from activities such as:
    • Skiing
    • Cycling
    • Horseback riding
    • Golf
    • Softball
  • Health problems of the hip, such as femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAI) or hip dysplasia


Problems may be:

  • Hip pain
  • Groin, buttock, or thigh pain
  • Locking or clicking of the hip
  • Hip instability
  • Pain during activity


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may be asked about the activities that you do and when the pain started. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the hip.

Images of the hip may be taken. This can be done with:


The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms to give the hip time to heal. Treatments may include:

  • Limiting activities to let the hip rest
  • Medicine to ease pain
  • Physical therapy to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Wearing a brace to support the hip

Some people may need surgery. The torn labrum may be removed or sewn together.


There are no guidelines to prevent a hip labral tear.


Arthroscopy Association of North America
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation


Crockett M, Aherne E, et al. Groin Pain in Athletes: A Review of Diagnosis and Management. Surg Technol Int. 2015 May;26:275-282.
Hip labral tear. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: Updated March 8, 2018. Accessed May 13, 2020.
Labrum tears. Cedars Sinai website. Available at: Accessed May 14, 2020.
Sports-related groin pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated October 31, 2019. Accessed May 13, 2020.
What is a hip labral tear or strain? Mercy Health website. Available at: Accessed May 14, 2020.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM