The hip joint is a ball and socket joint with the head of the femur (ball) fitting deep in the pelvis (socket). The labrum is a circular structure surrounding the hip socket and functions to seal the hip joint, distribute joint stress and enhance stability. That stability permits normal physical function like walking.
What causes labral tears?
Active athletes are at risk for labral tears because of the extremes of motion imposed by training and competition. The wear and tear of everyday movements like walking and bending can contribute to labral tears as well. Individuals with abnormally-shaped hips (e.g., hip dysplasia or femoroacetabular impingement) are at greater risk for labral tears.
Signs and Symptoms
Labral tears may cause a sharp catching pain, popping and/or a sensation of locking of the hip. Most people with this injury experience more subtle, dull pain that is described as a deep discomfort in the front of the groin or deep within the buttocks.