A hip labral tear is damage to the ring of cartilage (labrum) that rims the socket portion of the hip joint. The labrum acts like a rubber seal to help keep the ball at the top of the thighbone firmly within the hip socket.

People who play sports such as soccer, football, ice hockey and ballet have a higher risk of developing hip labral tear. Moreover, structural abnormalities can also lead to a hip labral tear.



Many cases of hip labral tears cause no symptoms. However, in some cases, hip labral tear may cause one or more of the following symptoms:


  • A locking, clicking or catching sensation in the hip joint
  • Pain in the hip or groin
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the hip joint



Possible causes of a hip labral tear may include:


  • Trauma: Injury or dislocation of the hip joint such as from car accidents or playing contact sports can lead to a hip labral tear.
  • Structural abnormalities: People that are born with hip problems can accelerate the wear and tear of the joint and eventually result in a hip labral tear.
  • Repetitive motions: Sport activities and other physical activities that involve sudden twisting, stopping or pivoting motions can cause wear and tear of the joint that eventually results in a hip labral tear.



A serious complication associated with hip labral tear involves the tendency to develop osteoarthritis in the affected joint in the future.



Hip labral tears are commonly associated with sports participation. Regular exercises to improve strength and flexibility of the surrounding muscles may help if the sport is too strenuous on the hips.