Patients with a torn labrum usually complain of pain in the front /side of the hip and the groin. Pain can be provoked by flexing the hip and turning it inwards (this is called the impingement test).
Plain X rays may be normal unless the patient has underlying dysplasia or impingement. The most sensitive test is to inject dye into the joint and then perform either a CT scan or MRI scan. The dye in he joint helps to outline damaged areas of tissue. This examination is about 80% sensitive but there will be a small number of patients in whom the only way of making the diagnosis is to inspect the joint arthroscopically. Frequently patients are offered a local anaesthetic and steroid injection. This is performed in the operating theatre. The main purpose is to confirm that the patients symptoms are originating from the hip joint although it is not unusual for pain relief to last for 2 to 3 months.