The hip joint, which is a ball and socket joint, consists of the head of the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum of the pelvis. A ring of cartilage, known as the labrum, surrounds your hip joint socket, provides cushioning and stability, and distributes the force of your body’s weight during movement.
A hip labral injury, commonly known as a hip labral tear, is a damage to the labrum of your hip joint. The severity of a hip labral tear varies from mild – where the labrum has a minor tear or frays at the edges, to severe – where the labrum separates from the socket or the acetabulum of the pelvis.
There are 2 types of hip labral tears, these are:
Anterior hip labral tear: occurs on the front of the hip joint and is the most common type of hip labral tear.
Posterior hip labral tear: occurs on the back of the hip joint.
What causes hip labral injuries?
Hip labral injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
Repetitive motions: constant twisting or pivoting movements in sports such as golf, baseball, and softball, can cause wear and tear of the labrum, leading to a hip labral tear.
Trauma: car accidents or high contact sports such as rugby and hockey, can cause a hip labral tear.
Arthritis:osteoarthritis, a disorder of the cartilage between bones, can cause wear and tear of the labrum, resulting in a hip labral tear.
What are the symptoms of hip labral injuries?
Symptoms of hip labral injuries include:
Pain in your hip or groin area
Stiffness in your hip joint
Clicking, locking, or catching sensation in your hip joint
Limited range of motion
Feeling unstable or like your hip could give way
Pain that worsens with prolonged sitting, standing, or walking
Pain during activities that involve running, jumping, or pivoting
If you notice any of the symptoms, make an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Dr Puah KL is our Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Artisan Sports & Orthopaedic Surgery. He used to serve the sports service of Singapore General Hospital - the highest volume trauma centre for orthopaedics in Singapore.
Hip labral injuries can cause pain. The severity of the pain may vary depending on the extent of your injury. Some people may experience mild discomfort while others may have severe pain that limits their ability to perform daily activities.
This pain is usually felt in your groin area, but it can also radiate to the hip, buttocks, or thighs. Other symptoms such as stiffness, clicking, locking or catching in your hip joint, decreased range of motion, and weakness may also occur.
Who is at risk of hip labral injuries in Singapore?
Hip labral injuries can occur in people of all ages and genders.
However, there are several factors that increase your risk of developing hip labral injuries, these are:
Sports: sports that involve twisting or sudden impact on the hips can increase your risk of hip labral injuries. Examples of these high risk sports include, football, golf, running, hockey, and rugby.
Dancing: dancers are more prone to developing hip labral injuries due to frequent and repetitive twisting hip movements.
Medical conditions: individuals with underlying hip conditions such as hip dysplasia, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), or osteoarthritis are also at a higher risk of developing hip labral injuries.
Age: older individuals are more susceptible to developing hip labral injuries due to degenerative changes in their hip joints.
How is hip labral injuries diagnosed?
Hip labral injuries are diagnosed in the following ways:
Physical examination: your orthopaedist will review your medical history and observe how you move your leg around and walk, this is to identify any areas of pain or discomfort.
Imaging tests:x-rays, computed tomography scans (CT-scan), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be performed to help confirm the diagnosis and rule out other underlying medical conditions.
What are the treatment options for hip labral injuries in Singapore?
If you are diagnosed with hip labral injuries, treatment options will depend on the severity of your condition.