Labral Tear

The labrum is classified as the ring of cartilage that exists on the outer rim of the shoulder and hip sockets. It helps to both cushion the joint and hold the joint in place. However, when this cartilage is damaged, a labral tear may occur. In addition to causing significant pain and a variety of other symptoms, a labral tear can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the affected area.


Though many individuals have no symptoms with a hip or shoulder labral tear, other individuals experience unpleasant side effects. These can include:

  • Discomfort and pain in the hip or shoulder area that can worsen with movement
  • Clicking in the affected joint
  • Limited range of motion and flexibility
  • Stiffness and tenderness in the joint


Often, a labral tear in the hip or shoulder is due to an injury or trauma to the joint. However, in some instances, a it can develop because of a structural abnormality, such as when an individual is born with hip or shoulder development issues. Additionally, repetitive movements can result in a labral tear due to the overuse and wear and tear on the joint. In order to prevent future complications, it is important to stretch and perform strength and flexibility exercises to build up the nearby muscles, thereby protecting the joints.


In order to properly diagnose a labral tear, a few diagnostic tests may be performed, as well as a physical exam and an evaluation of your medical history. The ideal treatment for a labral tear depends on the severity of symptoms and how long an individual has been suffering from them. Typically, anti-inflammatory medication and/or physical therapy will be initially recommended to help restore stability and movement in the joint. Possible interventions for shoulder and hip labral tears may include therapy, medications or bracing. In more severe cases, a surgical procedure or may be needed in order to remove or treat the torn labrum. 

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