Hip labral tear – clear diagnosis and treatment

  • A hip labral tear can cause sharp pain or catching pain in the front of the hip or groin as well as a lingering ache after each sharp pain
  • Feeling a painful click is a strong predictor of a symptomatic labral tear. This is the only clinical symptom that differentiates a labral tear from FAI
  • Although labral tears can have a causative event such as an awkward or forced inwards twist of the hip, episodes often begin gradually without an obvious cause


  • Strength training should focus on controlling rotation in weight-bearing positions
  • Reducing squat depth to 90 degrees hip flexion (bend) will help you avoid flare ups due to strength exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory meds can help reduce pain however they won’t assist in long term management without strength and control exercises


  • Finding a labral tear on MRI doesn’t confirm it as the source of your symptoms – labral tears are commonly found in 30-40 year olds, even without symptoms
  • Surgery is unlikely to be required – the vast majority of labral tears settle with a suitable strength program
  • Tears of the labrum don’t “heal” but they stop causing symptoms when they are no longer being irritated

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