Medical Library: Hip – Labral Tear

If you are experiencing hip pain, your doctor will use examination tests to help find the cause of your pain. One potential cause is a Labral tear within the hip. The labrum is cartilage surrounding the socket of ball-and-socket joints in the hip. This cartilage forms a ring around the edge of the bony socket of the joint, helping to provide stability to the joint by deepening the socket, while at the same time allowing both flexibility and motion.

As arthroscopic techniques to surgically manage the hip joint have improved over the years, there has been increased recognition and awareness of hip labral tears.

Hip labral tears are usually classified in two groups: degenerative tears and traumatic injuries.

  • A degenerative tear occurs as a result of repetitive use and activity and is a chronic injury. Degenerative labral tears can be seen in the early stages of hip arthritis.
  • A traumatic hip labral tear is usually a result of a sports injury, fall, or accident and is an acute injury. Hip labral tears can be seen in association with episodes of hip dislocation and are commonly associated with sudden, twisting maneuvers that cause immediate pain in the hip.

A hip labral tear can be difficult to diagnose.


  • Groin pain
  • Clicking and snapping sensations in the hip
  • Limited motion of the hip joint