Labral Tears of the Hip

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    The acetabular lip holds the ball of the hip joint in place. Trauma, such as a sports injury or a car accident, can rupture the acetabulum. It can also burst as a result of performing monotonous repetitive movements, such as turns, which are often done in sports such as golf. In addition, some people have a congenital malformation of the hip, which causes the cartilage to wear out quickly. Some people with a ruptured acetabular lip have no symptoms, while others experience pain in the hip or groin area, or pinching in the thigh while moving. In some cases, such people have rigidity (instability) and limited range of motion. A hip labral tear can lead to chronic pain and, over time, if left untreated, to arthritis. Rupture of the acetabular lip is treated with drugs, physical therapy, and surgery.

    Causes and Symptoms

    The hip labral tear is mainly caused by the action of an external force on the fully extended and outwardly turned hip. Oftentimes, the patient can point to a specific injury, such as a fall or twisting of a leg, prior to the onset of aching. The diagnosis of a hip labral tear is often overlooked, and people seek treatment for a “groin sprain,” which is actually a hip labral tear.

    A ruptured acetabular lip causes mechanical obstacles to movements in the hip joint, which is manifested by aching in the groin or buttock, an arc covering the hip joint from the outside. The aching is often associated with clicking or a sensation of obstruction in the hip joint.

    The hip labral tear is often associated with mechanical symptoms such as clicking or a sensation of an obstruction in the joint. As with other diseases of the hip joint, aching can radiate (radiate) down the leg, usually along the front, less often along the inner thigh to the knee. Treatment is absolutely essential in this condition.

    Aching can be of a different nature and range from mild, dull, exertion-induced aching that subside during rest, to severe and constant aching that severely restricts daily activities. Few people who are sick have severe limp or need crutches, but they try to avoid certain postures and movements (mainly hip flexion, abduction, and rotation) that cause aching.


    Each type of hip joint injury requires an individual approach and correct diagnosis. Comprehensive treatment means:

    • drug therapy aimed at eliminating symptoms – aching, inflammation and stimulating tissue regeneration;
    • physiotherapy, including massage, kinesiotherapy, exercise therapy;
    • the use of orthopedic aids – splints, orthoses, stirrups (with congenital dislocation of the hip joint);
    • skeletal traction and application of the Ilizarov apparatus.


    Surgical treatment includes:

    • osteosynthesis;
    • arthroplasty;
    • arthroscopic treatment;
    • osteotomy;
    • arthrodesis;
    • hip replacement.

    In surgical treatment of the hip labral tear, preference is given to organ-saving, minimally invasive techniques. For example, arthroscopy is used for the following:

    • removal of free bodies in the joint – bone fragments, cartilage fragments;
    • elimination of damage to the articular lip;
    • restoration of the shape of the hip joint.
    Written by Touch of Health Posted on May 25, 2021

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