Labral Tears/Femoroacetabular impingement

The edge of the hip socket (acetabulum) is formed by a rim of tissue called the labrum. This ‘lip’ of tissue increases the surface area of the hip joint and helps to spread the load. The labrum is made from fibrocartilage similar to the meniscus in the knee joint. It has been recognised for many years that the meniscus ‘cartilage’ in the knee can be torn by injuries. In a similar fashion the acetabular labrum can also be injured. This may occur in athletes following sporting injuries. It can also occur after relatively trivial injuries particularly if the shape of the joint itself is abnormal. This is particularly likely if the hip is shallow (dysplastic) or if there is impingement between the head of the femur and the acetabulum.