The labrum is a fibrocartilaginous rim of tissue that essentially cushions the socket of the hip and improves stability and reduces friction. If the hip pops or locks, this may be a symptom of a labral tear. If a torn labrum is unstable and flips into the joint, this may cause rapid wear and loss of cartilage.
If the labrum tears, it usually creates a sharp pain in the front portion of the hip and can sometimes be felt into the thigh. A tear may begin as a hip impingement that worsens to a tear. The labrum can also tear due to a congenital predisposition or an activity that overburdened your hip.
Symptoms could include a dull ache in your hip or groin or a sharp pain present only during certain movements of your hip. An exam by a doctor will reveal tenderness with movement. An x-ray or MRI will reveal an abnormal protrusion where the tear occurred.
The tears can be precursors to arthritis and treating them early can significantly delay the need for a hip replacement. If it is caught early, treatment could include rest, physical therapy and medication. If the condition persists, arthroscopic surgery should be discussed.
Surgical treatments for a labral tear: