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Causes of Labral Tears

The hip is a “ball-and-socket” joint. The “ball” is the femoral head – or the rounded top of your leg bone – and the socket is part of the acetabulum – the pelvis bone. The femoral head sits in the acetabulum, enabling movements such as walking or moving your leg away from the midline of the body. 

The labrum is a ring of strong, rubbery cartilage that lines the rim of the acetabulum. The labrum has the function of keeping the femoral head in place during movement, preventing the “ball” of the joint from sliding off the “socket” and causing dislocations.



Labral tears are injuries of the hip labrum. Some tears may occur within the labrum itself, and these injuries are more commonly caused by age-related degeneration, overuse, or micro-injuries. Other tears, often caused by traumatic injuries, pull the labrum away from the bone. 

Below, we’ll look at the most common causes of hip labral tears.

Repetitive Stress

Some motions may accelerate the degeneration of the labrum. These include high-contact sports such as football or disciplines that involve forceful and repeated movements of the hips, such as soccer, ice hockey, ballet, or golf. 

If your profession involves performing forceful hip motions (such as carrying heavy loads) you may also be at risk of developing a torn hip labrum. 

Traumatic Injuries

Traumatic injuries that affect the hip, such as the whiplash from a car accident or a strong pull to the leg, may suddenly stretch the labrum beyond capacity, causing it to tear or become entirely separated from the bone. 

If you have suffered a hip dislocation, you may also develop a labral tear as the femoral head may pull on the cartilaginous ring when slipping off its position and out of the joint’s socket. 

Complications of Hip Arthroplasty

Although largely underreported, labral tears are a common complication of hip replacement surgery, also known as hip arthroplasty. In these procedures, the labrum may be inadvertently punctured during the installation of the prosthetic joint components. 

Age-Related Degeneration of the Hip Joint

One of the most common causes of hip labral tears that occur within the labrum is age-related degeneration. The labrum is a ring or cartilage which, over time, is bound to become less elastic and unable to absorb shock as it should. This makes tears in the labrum more likely. 

Degenerative Conditions of the Hip

If you suffer from degenerative conditions of the hips, you may be more prone to labral tears. This is because the wear and tear of the cartilage, which occurs gradually with age and due to sustained high levels of inflammation, may cause the bones to start rubbing against each other. This can irritate the labrum and cause micro-tears that aggravate over time. 

The risk factors for these two conditions are similar and include aging and obesity. 

Hip Deformities

Abnormalities in the shape of the hips or alterations in the alignment of hip bones can cause conditions such as hip dysplasia and femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). These disorders cause the bones to rub against each other in areas that should normally be unaffected during movement. 

This atypical contact can lead to irritation, inflammation, and damage to the surrounding joint components, including the labrum.

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Symptoms of Labral Tears

Labral tears may be asymptomatic or only cause minor discomfort, but this doesn’t mean that this condition should be taken lightly! When left unaddressed, tears in the hip labrum can lead to progressive damage and affect the normal function of the hip joints. 

Hip labral tears may occur anywhere along the labrum, and the symptoms you’ll experience will be localized around the area affected by the damage. In particular, most labral tears occur at the front or at the back of the hip joint. 

Here are some of the symptoms commonly associated with labral tears:

Hip Pain

One of the most common telltale signs that you may be dealing with a torn labrum is pain in the hip, buttocks, or groin. These painful sensations may be described as dull, aching, or sharp, and they can radiate through the leg or lower torso. Hip pain may also intensify after periods of intense physical activity, after sitting in the same position for long periods, or at nighttime. 

In severe cases, the pain, instability, and dysfunction of the hip deriving from a labral tear can also cause limping.

Hip Stiffness & Reduced Range of Motion

If the labrum is torn or detached from the hip socket, you may experience stiffness in the hip and reduced range of motion when trying to lift the leg. This is because the femoral head isn’t able to move as it should within its socket. 

Clicking Sensations or Popping Noises

If the labrum becomes fringed or detached from the bone, it may get caught between the other components of the hip during movement. This leads to popping noises and clicking sensations while walking or climbing stairs. 

Hip Instability

Tears in the labrum may cause the femoral head to sit more loosely within the hip socket, leading to sensations of instability in the hip. Depending on the severity of the tear, you may also be more prone to dislocations or subluxations of the hip joints, which occur when the femoral head slips out of its position.

Regenerative Medicine Treatment Options for Labral Tears

Hip labral tears are extremely common in adults of all ages. According to a 2015 study, nearly 40% of asymptomatic people have a tear in their hip labrum. While this condition may never cause severe pain or disability, it should not be ignored. 

Indeed, labral tears don’t heal on their own and, when left untreated, labral tears can limit your mobility and inhibit hip function.  

Most patients with this hip disorder resort to pain medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or surgery to address their labral tears. Fortunately, taking medications daily or living in fear of having to undergo hip surgery are no longer the only prospects. 

Thanks to the advances in regenerative orthopedic medicine, today’s patients can take advantage of non-invasive and non-surgical regenerative treatments. Below, we’ll look at the therapies combined at Orthagenex to provide patients with innovative and individualized treatment programs for hip labral tears.

High Dose PRP for Hip Labral Tears

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) refers to autologous blood samples that have been processed to have platelet concentrations that are 10-30 times higher than baseline levels using a lab setting. The use of PRP in regenerative medicine has received significant interest, due to its ability to deliver high concentrations of growth factors precisely and non-invasively to an area in need.

PRP procedures involve injecting the body’s own healing factors (platelets) into the injured tissue using image guidance with fluoroscopy and MSK ultrasound. This procedure can be used to treat a variety of orthopedic conditions, including joint instability, minor arthritis, ligament, and tendon injuries, and strains.

More than 30 randomized controlled trials have been carried out on the effectiveness of PRP to support the body’s ability to heal naturally by stimulating the stem cells within the targeted area.

High Dose BMA Stem Cell Injections for Hip Labral Tears

Stem cells are an essential component of the human body and play an important role in the repair of injured bones, ligaments, tendons, and other tissues. However, when we age or suffer an injury, the body may become unable to deliver enough stem cells to the area in need.

To help with this, High Dose BMA stem cell procedures at Orthagenex use imaging guidance to deliver concentrated bone marrow containing stem cells to the area in need. This encourages the body’s inherent ability to heal itself by replenishing cell population in the injured area.

In practice, bone marrow concentrate procedures are carried out by cannulating the bone near the pelvis with a trocar, a sharp-tipped device. This provides a narrow tunnel that can be used to collect samples of the bone marrow’s liquid component, which is rich in stem cells.

BMA procedures can assist patients in improving their hip health and mobility without the lengthy and painful rehabilitation periods associated with surgery.


Skip the Hip Arthroscopy Surgery – Seek Orthagenex Stem Cell Treatments

Labral tears can be a painful condition that may require surgery. And, even in cases in which invasive procedures are not required, patients face months or years of taking pain-relieving medications daily. 

At Orthagenex, we understand the apprehension and concerns many patients have when facing the prospect of hip surgery. The fear of a lengthy recovery, potential complications, and the daunting prospect of a hip replacement can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve dedicated our expertise to harnessing the power of stem cells as an alternative treatment.

Stem cell therapy offers a revolutionary approach to treating hip issues. Using your own body’s stem cells, we can target the damaged areas of the hip and stimulate the natural repair processes. Instead of undergoing invasive hip surgery, patients can now opt for stem cell treatments that promote healing and regeneration. Over time, these stem cells work diligently to repair and rejuvenate the damaged tissues, alleviating pain and restoring function.

Furthermore, the use of stem cells in our treatment process ensures that the body’s natural healing mechanisms are activated. Unlike traditional hip surgery, which often involves long recovery periods and potential complications, stem cell therapy offers a quicker recovery with fewer risks. Patients who were once told that surgery was their only option are now finding relief through stem cell treatments at Orthagenex. At Orthagenex, we are committed to providing patients with a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment option that is just as effective: regenerative orthopedics. If you are ready to regain your hip health, get in touch with our clinics.

Now Available In:

Powder Springs, GA | New Lenox, IL

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