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Hip Labrum

The hip labrum is a ring of strong fibrocartilaginous tissue lining the rim of the socket of the hip joint. The labrum serves many functions, which include deepening the hip socket, increasing hip joint stability, distributing the joint pressure more equally in load sharing, lubricating and maintaining a thin fluid film inside the joint, and providing a suction seal at the hip on the femoral head, the “ball” of the ball-and-socket joint. The labrum helps hold the head of the femur in place and prevents the lateral and vertical movement of the femoral head within the joint.

Causes of Labral Tear

Labral tears may be caused by trauma, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), hip hypermobility, dysplasia, and degeneration. It can be seen many times in athletes playing sports such as ice hockey, soccer, golf, and ballet. Structural abnormalities may also cause a hip labral tear.

Patients may have hip pain, clicking, and locking of the joint and restricted range of motion. Patients may also experience dull pain on movement of the hip joint that may not subside on rest. A hip labral tear is often diagnosed with symptoms, history, physical examination, and radiological techniques. Magnetic resonance arthroscopy may be more appropriate for diagnosing hip labral tear.


Your doctor may start with conservative treatment prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and advising you to rest. These methods may offer symptomatic relief while surgery is required to repair the torn labrum. Your doctor may perform arthroscopic surgery using a fiber-optic camera and surgical instruments through the smaller incisions. Depending on the severity of the tear, the damaged or torn labrum may be sutured for a repair.

Labral Reconstruction

Patients suffering from hip labrum tears and femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome, are treated with a minimally invasive surgical procedure called hip arthroscopy, but sometimes the labrum is irreparable, due to extensive damage and fraying, for which repair would not yield the same results. In these circumstances, hip labral reconstruction with a soft tissue graft may be beneficial in restoring the mechanics of the hip.

Labral reconstruction is performed circumferentially (along the entire rim of the socket) or segmentally (along a smaller portion of the rim) to restore the function of the hip labrum. Not all orthopedic hip arthroscopy surgeons are equipped to perform labral reconstruction due to the complexity involved. Michael Chiu, MD provides expert diagnosis and arthroscopic surgery, including labral reconstruction, for hip labral tears in the Chicagoland area. Michael Chiu, MD also provides highly specialized care during and after the surgery. Contact Michael Chiu, MD’s office for an appointment today!