Hip Labral Tears

I recently began with a former D1 soccer player, late 20s, very sorted and confusing history of hip and groin pain. He hadn’t gotten any definition or answers for some time. Just before getting me, he had travelled to see Dr. Meyers in Philadelphia where he ruled out sports hernia and set him up for an arthrogram to rule out a labral tear.

So when I saw him, aside from regional and interregional dysfunction, I also felt he had a labral tear. MRI confirmed.

My point in sharing this is not so much to recount this case and how we’ve attacked his programming. The real point is that most hip labral tears do not equal gloom and doom. I’ve never found the study (haven’t looked all that hard) that I first heard of from Sahrmann that 96% of a sample of cadavers had labral tears.

Certainly over the last 7-10 years, the diagnosis is more prevalent, but only because surgeons have advanced their skills to be able to repair these tears via ‘scope. The condition has probably always been prevalent.

If your hip snaps or pops, you probably have a labral tear.
If your hip pinches when your knee approaches your chest, you probably have a labral tear.
If your front side hip kills after golf and you find your lead foot opening up, you probably have a labral tear.

It’s not something that mandates surgery though.
Often training rotary stability and limiting positions that provoke the tear leave folks this young man I referenced above very satisfied and with a full and aggressive training program.

  • April 22, 2010

Leave a Reply 9 comments

Sam.Leahey@gmail.com Reply

Good stuff Charlie.

Keats Snideman Reply

Interesting blogpost..I guess I have a labral tear then ­čÖé I’ll add it to my ever growing list of dysfunctions I’m working on! Good thing i’m not into surgeries…or I’d need a lot

admin Reply

Fascinating, Charlie! My left hip twangs in a number of positions. I thought it was a tendon out of place. Is that what you’re talking about?

Charlie Reply

Yes, that is it. It doesn’t guarantee a labral tear diagnosis every time with imaging, but these are the indicators to rule out.

admin Reply

Okiedokes… training rotary stability and not moving into twang too often… check.

Charlie Reply

Good recipe, and you are already on the road with rolling.

Travis Reply

Just curious why the foot turns out when this condition is present?

Charlie Reply

The foot turns out through hip external rotation in an effort to slack the hip flexors off the ASIS and require less core stability to stabilize the pelvis.
This is a very natural, although aberrant, compensation that all folks will do in the presence of pain and/or dysfunction.

Laci Weeks Reply


I am a 27 year old right handed golfer and I was just diagnosed with a left hip labral tear (I had the MRI done over a year ago but a qualified physician did not read the MRI, so the tear was missed). I have taken about 4 months off from golf and lifting… focusing on therapy and correctives but have had little success managing the the pain and getting stronger. My hips will not stay in alignment, so I find it very difficult to get my core to react. I am trying to decide if I should go through with surgery or continue my rehab… I am getting different opinions from different professionals. If you have any advice, I would greatly appreciate anything you have to offer.

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