Symptoms of a Hip Labral Tear | Treatments and Causes

The hip comprises a ball and socket joint. A hip labral tear is an injury to the labrum, the soft cartilage structure that surrounds the socket. The injury occurs when the labrum is torn from its attachment in the socket and generally results in pain, reduced function and a clicking or locking of the joint.

Learn more about the symptoms of a hip labrum tear, treatments and causes below.

Symptoms of a Hip Labral Tear

The symptoms of a hip labral tear vary dependent on the severity of the injury and whether you suffer from a chronic joint illness such as arthritis. General symptoms include pain or stiffness around the hip joint, pain in the groin or buttocks area, a clicking sound or locking when moving and feeling unsteady on your feet. The discomfort could worsen as you go about your day, especially when bending or rotating the hip, exercising and performing sports. But it’s also possible to have no torn hip labrum symptoms at all.

Treatment Options For Symptoms of a Hip Labrum Tear

A hip labral tear cannot repair itself on its own. Treatment options vary from surgical to non-operative and will depend on personal characteristics.


Anti-inflammatory medication can be taken to reduce inflammation.

Doctors can inject medication such as steroids into the joint. This will alleviate discomfort and improve lubrication in the joint.

Physical therapy can be utilised to strengthen and stretch the hip muscles. It’s important to stress that exercises should only be performed if advised by your doctor to not risk irritating or worsening the injury.


If the non-operative methods do not ease symptoms or the tear is severe, you will likely need surgery and need to consult a orthopedic surgeon in Melbourne. Fortunately, arthroscopic or keyhole surgery can be used in the majority of cases. Through multiple small incisions in the hip, your hip surgeon can perform the necessary treatment which could vary from re-fixation or repair, reconstruction, or the removal of small pieces of labral tissue.

Causes of a Hip Labral Tear

Labral tears can occur to anyone at any time, no matter your age or the level of physical activity that you usually enjoy. Most commonly, tears are caused by:

  • Dislocation of the joint
  • Repetitive movement or stresses to the joint, usually during exercise
  • Traumatic injury from a fall or incident such as a car accident
  • Developmental conditions that were present at birth or childhood
  • Femoroacetabular impingement

Choose a Doctor You Can Trust

If you are experiencing hip labral tear pain, down your leg or in the general hip area then you should consult a doctor that specialises in orthopaedics of the hip. They will be able to diagnose, provide surgery and non-operative treatment methods, and provide ongoing care if your condition is chronic.

Specialising in hip orthopaedics, Dr David Slattery is here to help. With a wealth of knowledge and over a decade of experience, you are in safe hands. Call on 03 5752 5020 or complete an online enquiry form to get started. You’ll be enjoying a full range of movement without pain in no time.