Hip labrum tears can limit your ability to not only play sports or go to the gym – but even walk comfortably.  The hip is a ball and socket joint made up of the head of the femur (leg bone) and acetabulum of the pelvis. Because keeping the joint in place is essential to hip anatomy and function, a small ring of cartilage, known as the labrum, rests on the outer rim of the acetabulum and acts as a seal that holds the head of the femur perfectly in place. When the labrum is partially or completely torn, the injury is called a hip labrum tear.


hip labrum tears

Illustration 1- The hip joint


Causes of Hip Labrum Tears

Hip labrum tears are commonly caused by:

  • Hip dislocations
  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Improper hip joint alignment (structural abnormalities)
  • Overtraining
  • Osteoarthritis


Based on the severity of the injury, a host of symptoms may present.

Symptoms. Locking, catching, grinding, clicking and/or popping sensations can be a few of the symptoms. So can pain in the hip and/or groin. Stiffness and decreased mobility are also common. When symptoms present, an appointment with an Orthopedic Specialist should be arranged, as hip labrum tears will not heal unless properly treated.

Treatment Options for Hip Labrum Tears

Conservative, non-operative treatment measures are always tried first. They include:

  1. Activity modification. Stopping certain activities is a way to decrease symptoms.
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Medications are used to decrease inflammation and pain.
  3. Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening the hip’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments help increase mobility and reduce pain.


If an injury fails to respond to conservative treatment options, surgical intervention may be necessary. During a 1-2-hour minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure, an Orthopedic Specialist locates the tear and then repairs it as well as removes any loose pieces of the labrum. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis. After a 2-week rest period, a physical therapy regimen is started.

Seeking Treatment

Hip labrum tears need to be diagnosed and treated by an Orthopedic Surgeon. If you sustained or think you sustained one, please contact our offices. We take injuries seriously and will get you an appointment right away. Regardless of the severity of your injury, your specialist will have a treatment option that’s right for you.

At Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our prestigious Hip Program is led by Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Richard McCormack.  Dr. McCormack attended Harvard University where he was captain of the two-time national championship winning Harvard Lightweight Rowing team.  Dr. McCormack is an expert in Total Hip Replacement and has helped thousands of patients regain an active and healthy lifestyle. When you’re ready to talk to an orthopedic specialist about your hip condition, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at one of our 5 Long Island offices. The road to a pain-free, functional life starts when you walk through our doors.