Published: Nov. 11, 2010
Updated: Dec. 29, 2010
The labrum is a unique structure found in the hip. The labrum is a specialized structure that lines the edge or rim of the hip socket. The shape and function of the labrum is similar to a bumper cushion on a pool table.
The shape and function of the labrum can be most easily understood as being similar to a bumper cushion on a pool table. The shape of the labrum is triangular in cross-section. The labrum acts as a cushion between the ball and socket of the hip joint during flexion of the hip.
The labrum is filled with nerve fibers that makes tears in the labrum very painful.
Labral tears typically occur from:
Some labral tears cause no signs or symptoms. However, when symptoms are present, they include:
A physical examination by your doctor will help diagnose the cause of your symptoms. X-rays will allow your physician to take a closer look at the bone and rule out other possible underlying conditions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be used to further examine the soft tissues.
The level of treatment depends upon the severity of the condition. Some patients recover in only a few weeks using conservative treatments. However, patients with severe labral tearing may require surgery. One or a combination of these treatments may be used:
The role of the labrum in the hip is a subject of some debate in medicine. Discuss this issue with your doctor to learn more.
Duke Orthopaedics treats labral tears at locations throughout North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, and Cary, North Carolina.
Watch an educational video about treatments for labral tears of the hip.