Labral Tears in the Shoulder or Hip

UPMC Content 2

What Is a Labral Tear of the Shoulder or Hip?

Our shoulders and hips are ball-and-socket joints. The top — or "ball" — of the shoulder or hipbone fits into a socket, allowing for range of motion.

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that follows the outside rim of the shoulder and hip sockets. It keeps the ball of the bone in the socket and provides smooth and painless shoulder or hip motion.

A labral tear occurs when you damage the labrum in the shoulder or hip.

Labral tear causes

Labral tears to the shoulder damage the ring of cartilage surrounding the shoulder socket.

Common causes of labral tears in the shoulder include:

The hip joint includes the head of the femur (known as the ball) and the acetabulum (the socket) of the pelvis.

The most common cause of labral tears in the hip is an external force to a hyperextended, externally rotated hip.

Sports-related labral tear risk factors

Athletes at an increased risk for labral tears are those that play sports involving repetitive movement of the shoulder or hip, such as:

  • Golf
  • Baseball
  • Tennis

Other labral tear risk factors include a traumatic injury or a degenerative condition, like osteoarthritis.

Make an appointment for labral tears at UPMC Sports Medicine

To make an appointment or learn more about shoulder or hip labral tears, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

Learn more about sports-related labral tears

The links below will open a new browser window.

UPMC's HealthBeat Blog:

From our Health Library:

Sports-Related Labral Tear Symptoms and Diagnosis

Sports-related shoulder labral tear symptoms

The symptoms of a sports-related labral tear in the shoulder can include:

  • Pain when doing overhead activities.
  • Grinding, popping, "sticking" in the shoulder socket.
  • Pain at night.
  • Decreased range of motion in the shoulder.
  • Loss of shoulder strength.

Sports-related hip labral tear symptoms

Labral tears of the hip often occur from an applied force to a hyperextended hip during contact sports.

Common symptoms of sports-related labral tears to the hip include:

  • A locking, clicking, or "catching" feeling in the hip.
  • Pain in the hip or groin.
  • Stiffness in the hip.
  • Decreased range of motion in your hip joint.

Diagnosing labral tears of the shoulder and hip

Doctors at UPMC Sports Medicine will use imaging tests — such as x-rays and MRI scans — to diagnose shoulder and hip labral tears.

Make an appointment at UPMC Sports Medicine to diagnose labral tear symptoms

To make an appointment or learn more about shoulder or hip labral tear symptoms, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

Learn more about sports-related labral tear symptoms and tests

The links below will open a new browser window.

UPMC's HealthBeat Blog:

From our Health Library:

Labral Tear Treatments at UPMC Sports Medicine

Labral tear treatments without surgery

To treat a labral tear of the shoulder or hip, doctors at UPMC Sports Medicine will try nonsurgical treatments first before suggesting surgery to repair the sports injury.

Labral tear treatments without surgery often include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Rest.
  • Physical therapy and rehab exercises to strengthen the areas around the shoulder or hip joint.

Labral tear repair surgery

If the labral tear in your shoulder or hip doesn't heal after nonsurgical treatments, your doctor may discuss arthroscopic surgery with you.

Shoulder arthroscopy for labral tears

During shoulder labral tear surgery, the doctor will check your shoulder socket and biceps tendon.

 

If the shoulder labral tear only affects the socket, then your shoulder is stable.

If the shoulder labral tear extends into the bicep tendon or detaches from the joint, then your shoulder is unstable

 

After arthroscopic shoulder surgery to repair a labral tear, you will need to:Wear a sling for three to four weeks.

  • Perform light, painless exercises to build shoulder strength and regain range of motion.

If you're an athlete, you can expect to be doing sport-specific exercises about six weeks after your shoulder labral tear surgery.

Full recovery can take up to four months.

Hip arthroscopy for labral tears

Minimally invasive hip arthroscopy is suited for athletes and nonathletes of any age.

During hip arthroscopy, your doctor will insert a tiny camera through a small incision and repair the labral tear.

Compared to open-hip surgery, hip labral tear arthroscopy has a quicker recovery time.

Make an appointment for labral tear treatment at UPMC Sports Medicine

To make an appointment for shoulder or hip labral tear treatment, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

Learn more about sports-related labral tear treatment

The links below will open a new browser window.

UPMC's HealthBeat Blog:

From our Health Library: