Arthroscopic Hip Surgeon

Hip Arthroscopy

Frequently Asked Questions

A. What is the LABRUM?

The labrum is a ring of fibrocartilage (fibrous cartilage) that extends around the majority of the acetabulum, increasing its depth. The labrum acts as a suction seal around the femoral head maintaining the joint fluid within. The fluid protects the articular cartilage layers of the femur and acetabulum. The labrum does act as a stabilizer of the femoral head within the acetabulum as well.

Why does the labrum tear?

Labral Tear

Labral tears are typically the result of some underlying etiology…BONY , SOFT TISSUE, or TRAUMATIC


  • Static Overload
    • Femoral Anteversion
    • Valgus Femoral Neck Orientation
    • Acetabular Dysplasia (Anterior/Lateral)
  • Dynamic Impingement
    • Cam Impingement
    • Femoral Retroversion
  • Pincer Impingement

Soft Tissue

  • PSOAS Impingement
  • Laxity – Collagen Disorders


  • Subluxation
  • Dislocation

 How does a labral tear present?

Labral tears most commonly result in “groin” pain. Most patients describe the pain as a sharp pain that is very deep. It tends to hurt more with increased activity, and is very easy to reproduce with high degrees of flexion and internal rotation of the hip joint. Prolonged periods of sitting will result in pain for patients with a condition known as femoroacetabular impingement.

Oftentimes, patients do not complain of a constant pain in the joint, but rather one that comes and goes without warning. Pain is usually located in the anterior region of the hip (groin area).

Less commonly, patients present with posterior (buttock area) or lateral (outside of the hip) pain.

Some complain of pain that wakes them up at night, or pain referred down the leg. These two symptoms tend to be more common in those with arthritis of the hip.

Why is it painful?

Patients with labral tear complain of hip pain because the labrum has nerve endings that can stimulate pain fibers, causing pain sensation in the hip region.

Will Physio Therapy PT heal/fix my labral tear?

This is a question asked of us all the time, and the simple answer is no. However, it is possible for a tear to become asymptomatic with appropriate muscular training and activity modification and therefore not require surgery.



Dr. Bryan T. Kelly
Multimedia Patient Education
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