Labral Tears

A labral tear occurs when the labrum detaches from the underlying bone of the pelvis.  Joint fluid enters this space and prevents the torn labrum from healing.


Many labral tears go unnoticed with no signs or symptoms. However, others may experience the following symptoms:

  • Groin/hip pain
  • Clicking/Catching in the hip
  • Restricted hip range of motion


Athletes who engage in sports such as ice hockey, football, soccer, golf and ballet are at higher risk of developing hip labral tears. Structural abnormalities can also lead to labral tears. Other causes may include:

  • Trauma
  • Arthritis/degeneration
  • Acetabular Dysplasia/Developmental Dysplasia
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement(FAI)
  • Acetabular Retroversion


Treatment for labral tears depends on how severe your symptoms are. Some patients recover with treatment in a few weeks, while others may requirehip surgery to remove or repair the torn labrum.

  • Hip arthroscopic labral excision
  • Hip arthroscopic repair
  • Hip arthroscopic repair plus correction of CAM/Pincer (FAI) deformity
  • Minimally invasive open labral repair
  • Surgical hip dislocation and labral repair
  • Periacetabular Osteotomy
  • Labral reconstruction

Speak to a specialist today

Victorian Bone & Joint Specialists are a team of dedicated orthopedic specialists are internationally trained to handle labral tears,hip arthritis, and other syndromes and conditions. Focusing on each individual to deliver the best possible outcome, we can help to streamline your experience and manage every step of the journey.

Get in touch today. Useourcontact form to submit an enquiry and one of our specialists will get back to you as soon as possible.

Labral Tear FAQs

What happens if a labral tear goes untreated?

If left untreated, a labral tear can become an irritant to the hip joint which can increase friction and speed the presence of osteoarthritis in your hip. If the tear gets worse, it can become a tissue flap that can cause severe pain when moving your hip. Treatment may be recommended and can help minimise pain.

What aggravates a hip labral tear?

Labral tears are most commonly caused by structural abnormalities in the hip, and they can additionally be caused by repetitive injuries from lunging, squats, kicking, sports and extremes of range of motion. Cycling can bean aggravatingactivity as hip flexion combined with other movements can aggravate your pain. You may also wishto avoidactivities such as football, soccer, gym, basketball and ballet as they can irritate the tear and cause sharp pain in the groin or hip. Treatment of labral tears may provide relief allowing you to return to some activities you enjoyed.

What does a labral tear feel like?

For many patients, a torn labrum may show no symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. For others, pain in the hip joint, groin or buttocks can be a sign of a torn labrum, sometimes experienced alongside an audible clicking sound in the joint when engaging in high-intensity activity. Pain levels usually correlate with activity, subsiding with rest. 

Do I need surgery for a torn labrum?

Surgery may be required to correct a hip labral tear, as often a torn labrum is a symptom of a deeper structural issue with the hip. In this case, simply correcting the tear may not provide effective relief to the patient. In cases where the labral tear has no underlying cause, some conservative treatment methods such as NSAID drugs and targeted physical therapy can provide relief. Surgical treatment often takes the form of minimally-invasive hip arthroscopy. 

How is a hip labral tear diagnosed?

Labral tears are normally diagnosed by a combination of physical examination and assessment of the hip joint, and confirmed by an MRI.