Hip Labral Tear

The hip labrum is a piece of connective tissue around the rim of the hip socket that deepens and stabilizes the joint, as well as seals in the joint fluid that lubricates the joint.  A tear in this tissue not only destabilizes the joint, but allows the fluid to leak out, leading to increased friction and possible early degeneration.

A single major trauma, like a hip dislocation, or repeated microtraumas, like kicking, running, twisting, or cutting, can tear the labrum.  Labral tears are often found alongside boney hip deformities that add repeated stress to the labrum.

– Femoroacetabular impingement (boney deformity). 

– Acute trauma. 

– Repetitive motion (running, kicking, cutting). 

– Poor hip strength. 

– Poor hip mobility. 

– Poor lower body alignment.

– Pain in the hip, may radiate to the low back, groin, or buttock area.

– Clicking/snapping feeling or sound in the hip.

– Loss of range of motion.

At Home Diagnostic Tests

Anterior impingement test (video).


At Home Care

– Avoid irritating activities. 

– Comfort care:  NSAIDs. 

– NOTE: Ice/heat are typically ineffective as this injury is too deep in the joint for the temperature change to reach.

When to Seek Help

Physical therapy is the first line of treatment for hip labral tears, as many people return to activity and avoid surgery by improving their hip mobility, strength, and lower body mechanics.  If you do require surgery, physical therapy typically begins within days of your procedure.

Inspired Athletx Treatment

Conservative treatment and post-surgical rehabilitation follow similar paths, with a focus on regaining joint and soft tissue mobility, hip and core strength, and improving lower body mechanics with running, cutting, and jumping.   Post-surgical patients require a period of non-weight bearing and a slower progression towards these goals as the tissue heals.  Patients will typically wean off of crutches at 3-4 weeks post op and return to running and plyometrics around 12 weeks post op.  We strongly recommend a course of “prehab” prior to surgery, as patients who go into surgery with strong and mobile hips typically progress much more quickly than those who do not.