What is a hip labral tear? [Video]
Ask the Expert: Hip Video Series
About the video: What is a hip labral tear?
Labral tears in the hip can be very common. Listen to our experts Jack Skendzel, M.D. and Brent Warner, M.D. explain what a hip labral tear entails.
Meet Dr. Brent Warner
Dr. Warner’s approach: “As an athlete, I understand the profound impact that an injury can have on a patient’s life and well-being. My goal is to return people to activity as quickly and safely as possible, whether that’s training for an ultramarathon or walking the dog around the block.”
Dr. Warner’s education: Dr. Warner received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in Durham, NC. He completed his medical doctorate at the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, OH, and his residency took place at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. For advanced fellowship training, he attended the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, CO.
Meet Dr. Jack Skendzel
Dr. Skendzel’s approach: “An active lifestyle requires superior physical function, and I understand that my patients have exceptionally high standards for their performance and joint health. My goal is to return patients to optimal function so that they can continue to perform and master their personal athletic goals.”
Dr. Skendzel’s education: Dr. Skendzel attended the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana for his undergraduate degree, and he went on to complete medical school at Georgetown University. His residency took place at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and he later completed advanced fellowship training at The Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado.
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The labrum is a squishy ring of cartilage that goes around the socket. So it acts like a gasket or an O-ring, and it helps to create a suction cup effect that helps to stabilize the ball and the socket. In some patients, whether they’ve had trauma, or if the shape of their ball and socket predisposed them to pinching the labrum, that labrum can start to tear or peel away from the edge of the socket. And we would refer to that as a labral tear. The labral tears in the hip are actually very common. There is some data out there to suggest that maybe 65 or 70% of people walking around in daily life have a labral tear that you could see on an MRI. But that doesn’t mean that all those people necessarily have hip pain that would be caused by that. So, when I see a patient who has imaging that shows the labral tear, we have to really put all of their signs and symptoms and exam findings together to determine whether that labral tear is the thing causing symptoms or not. In many instances, it might be something else causing the pain that they’re there being seen for. But in symptomatic labral tears, those ones do tend to be more common in people who have signs of hip impingement or femoroacetabular impingement.