Acetabular Labral (Hip) Tear

At the Children’s Health Andrews Institute, we provide comprehensive care and innovative treatments for every pediatric hip condition our patients may experience, including acetabular labral (hip) tears. Our goal is to provide our patients with the most effective but least invasive options possible.

When your child tears the cartilage (labrum) that cushions the hip joint (acetabulum), our physicians are here to help. Labral tears usually occur during sports and activities in which the hip rotates suddenly, like football or soccer.

Some tears may only require medication, activity modification or rehab with our in-house physical therapists. But if surgery is needed, our surgeons offer a minimally invasive arthroscopic approach. They also have expertise treating related hip injuries such as:

What are the signs and symptoms of Acetabular Labral (Hip) Tear?

  • Pain – especially with activity
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Discomfort walking
  • Feeling as if the hip is giving out, “locking” or “clicking”

How is Acetabular Labral (Hip) Tear diagnosed?

Our physicians start with a physical exam of your child’s hip. We also take a quick, painless imaging scan to look for damage to the bones and soft tissue in your child’s hip.

Your child’s physical evaluation may include:

  • Comparison of the injured and non-injured hips
  • Tests to stress the hip and identify weak and possibly injured cartilage

Diagnostic testing may include:

  • X-ray: Uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to take detailed images of the bones of the hip joint
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan: Uses magnetic fields and radio waves to take detailed pictures of the hip joint, checking for tears in the cartilage

What are the causes of Acetabular Labral (Hip) Tear?

Labral tears usually occur during sports and activities in which the hip rotates suddenly, like football or soccer.

How is Acetabular Labral (Hip) Tear treated?

At the Andrews Institute, our team of orthopedic specialists designs treatment plans using the least invasive options possible. Whenever possible, our physicians first suggest non-surgical treatment for a torn labrum.

Non-surgical treatment options include:

If symptoms continue to worsen, we may recommend minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.

After surgery, our physicians work collaboratively with in-house physical therapists to create an individualized rehabilitation plan for your child’s unique needs.

Acetabular Labral (Hip) Tear Doctors and Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How are acetabular labral (hip) tears prevented?

    While labral tears that happen because of an acute injury are unavoidable, those that happen from wear and tear can be prevented with effective strength and stability exercises.


Learn more about acetabular labral (hip) tears in children: