Torn Hip Labrum: What You Need to Know About Diagnosing and Treating the Injury

July 26, 2023Kolton Opdahl
Hip Pain

The hip joint is one of the largest joints in the human body, and it plays a critical role in supporting our weight and allowing us to move our legs. The hip joint is made up of a ball and socket joint, which is covered by a ring of cartilage called the labrum. The labrum acts as a cushion, protecting the hip joint and helping it move smoothly. However, if the labrum is torn, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, as well as limiting your range of motion. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, treatment, and recovery options for torn hip labrum.

Causes of Torn Hip Labrum

A labral tear in the hip can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of labral tears in the hip joint include:

  1. Repetitive motions that stress the hip joint

People who participate in high-impact activities that put a lot of stress on the hip joint are at a higher risk of developing a torn hip labrum. Activities such as running, jumping, or pivoting can put a lot of stress on the hip joint, which can cause the labrum to tear over time. Athletes who participate in sports that require these types of movements, such as basketball, soccer, or hockey, are at a higher risk of developing a labral tear in their hip joint.

  1. Traumatic injuries to the hip

Traumatic injuries to the hip joint can also cause a torn hip labrum. Falls or car accidents can cause a sudden impact to the hip joint, which can result in a labral tear. In some cases, a sudden twisting or turning motion can also cause the labrum to tear.

  1. Structural abnormalities of the hip joint

Structural abnormalities of the hip joint, such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), can also lead to a torn hip labrum. FAI occurs when the bones of the hip joint do not fit together correctly, which can cause the labrum to be pinched or damaged. People who have this condition are more likely to develop a labral tear.

Symptoms of a Torn Hip Labrum

This frustrating condition can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  1. Hip pain that worsens with activity

Pain is the most common symptom of a torn labrum (hip). The pain may be felt in the front, side, or back of the hip joint and may worsen with activity. In some cases, the pain may be severe enough to interfere with your ability to perform daily activities.

  1. Stiffness or limited range of motion in the hip joint

A labral tear in the hip can also cause stiffness in the hip joint. This can make it difficult to move your leg. You may also experience a limited range of motion in your hip joint. This can make it challenging to perform certain activities, such as bending down or lifting your leg.

  1. Clicking or locking of the hip joint

A torn hip labrum can cause clicking or locking of the hip joint. This occurs when the torn labrum gets caught between the ball and socket joint of the hip. This can cause a clicking or popping sound. In some cases, the labrum can get caught, causing the hip joint to lock.

  1. Weakness in the hip or thigh muscles

In some cases this condition can cause weakness in the hip or thigh muscles. This can occur because the pain and stiffness in the hip joint make it difficult to use these muscles effectively.


The treatment for a torn hip labrum depends on the severity of the injury and the individual’s overall health. Some of the most common treatment options include:

Non-Surgical Torn Labrum Treatment

Non-surgical treatment options for torn hip labrum include:

  • Rest: Resting the hip joint can help reduce pain and inflammation. Avoiding activities that aggravate the hip joint, such as running or jumping, can also help.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around the hip joint, which can help support the joint and reduce pain. A physical therapist may also use techniques such as massage, stretching, and ultrasound to help reduce pain and improve range of motion.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Regenerative Medicine for Torn Labrum Hip

Regenerative medicine is a field of medicine that focuses on using the body’s natural healing abilities to repair damaged tissues and organs. This approach has shown promise in treating a wide range of injuries and conditions, including torn hip labrum.

One form of regenerative medicine that is being used to treat torn hip labrum is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. PRP therapy involves taking a sample of the patient’s blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting the concentrated platelets into the damaged tissue. Platelets contain growth factors that can stimulate the body’s natural healing process, promoting the repair of damaged tissue.

Another regenerative medicine approach for torn hip labrum is stem cell therapy. Stem cells are special cells that have the ability to develop into different types of cells in the body. Stem cell therapy involves injecting stem cells into the damaged tissue to help stimulate the body’s natural healing process.

While regenerative medicine approaches such as PRP therapy and stem cell therapy are still being studied for torn hip labrum, they show promise as a potentially effective alternative to traditional surgical treatments. These treatments can help promote healing and reduce pain and inflammation, allowing patients to potentially avoid surgery and achieve a faster recovery time.

Surgical Treatment

Surgical treatment may be necessary if non-surgical treatments do not provide relief or if the tear is severe. The two most common surgical procedures for torn hip labrum are:

  • Arthroscopy: During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a small camera into the hip joint and uses small instruments to repair the torn labrum. This is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis.
  • Open surgery: Open surgery may be necessary for more severe tears or for people with underlying structural abnormalities of the hip joint. During open surgery, the surgeon makes a larger incision and repairs the torn labrum directly.

Recovery from Torn Hip Labrum Surgery

Recovery from torn hip labrum surgery can take several months. After surgery, you will need to use crutches for a few weeks to allow the hip joint to heal. Physical therapy is also an essential part of the recovery process. A physical therapist can help you regain strength and range of motion in the hip joint and develop a rehabilitation plan.

torn hip labrum

Prevention of a Torn Hip Labrum

Prevention of this injury is not always possible, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk:

  • Strengthen the muscles around the hip joint: Strong muscles can help support the hip joint and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Warm-up before exercise: Warming up before exercise can help prepare your muscles for activity and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Use proper technique: Using proper technique when performing activities that stress the hip joint, such as running or jumping, can help reduce the risk of injury.
  • Listen to your body: If you experience pain or discomfort in the hip joint, it is essential to rest and seek medical attention if necessary.

A torn labrum can be a painful and debilitating injury. However, with the right treatment and recovery plan, most people can regain full function of the hip joint. If you suspect you have a torn hip labrum, it is essential to seek medical attention right away to prevent further damage to the joint. With the right treatment and preventive measures, you can reduce your risk of developing a torn labrum in your hip. And maintain the health and function of your hip joint for years to come.

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