Like the shoulder, the hip socket is a ball and socket joint. The hip labral cartilage can be at risk for damage due to injury or simply the bony structure of the hip joint can sometimes increase one’s risk of hip pain due to a hip labral tear. Sometimes a condition called hip impingement can damage the labrum.
Hip labral tear
Although hip and groin injuries are less common than other joints like the knee and ankle, they still contribute to a lot of difficulty in active individuals. The hip labrum is important for a healthy hip to function normally. If the labrum is damaged, it can adversely affect other hip structures like the articular cartilage and possibly speed up arthritis development.
Labral tears can occur due to injuries like encountering forceful resistance while kicking or running such as occur in martial arts or tackle football respectively. Labral tears can also occur from degenerative bony changes like those we can see in conditions such as hip impingement and even arthritis
Hip impingement also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), can develop slowly over years leading to additional damage to the labrum and other bony structures of the hip.
In individuals with labral tears, groin pain typically occurs with athletic activity like sprinting, squatting, jumping, or kicking movements. Hip pain can also occur when trying to put on socks or shoes when sitting. A careful and thoughtful history and exam by a sports injury specialist can help determine if a labral tear is present.
Diagnostic imaging for labral damage includes x-rays to look at the bony anatomy of the hip, and sometimes an MRI is indicated in order to look at the labrum. Additionally, an ultrasound guided injection of anesthetic into the hip joint can help confirm the diagnosis.