Acetabular labral tears

Cara L. Lewis, Shirley A. Sahrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Acetabular labral tears are a recently recognized source of hip pain, particularly in the anterior hip or groin region. Except in cases of specific trauma, the etiology of labral tears is often difficult to determine. Labral tears often evade detection by noninvasive means. Once they are diagnosed, conservative medical treatment has not proven to be effective, and the appropriate physical therapy intervention has yet to be established. Surgical treatment results in short-term improvement, but the long-term outcomes are still unknown. Because labral tears have been associated with a higher risk for joint degeneration, including osteoarthritis, this area warrants further investigation, especially with regard to prevention, early detection, and appropriate physical therapy and medical treatment. In general, a physical therapist should suspect an acetabular labral tear when a patient with normal radiographs complains of a long duration of anterior hip or groin pain and clicking, pain with passive hip flexion combined with adduction and medial rotation, and pain with an active straight leg raise and has minimal to no restriction in ROM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-121
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Acetabular labral tear
  • Groin pain
  • Hip pain


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