Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A hip labral tear rarely occurs in isolation. In most cases, other structures within the hip joint have also sustained injuries. Diagnostic tests can help determine exactly what's going on inside your joint.

Imaging scans

  • X-rays. X-rays are excellent at visualizing bone. However, X-rays don't produce images of soft tissue, so these images can't be used to diagnose a labral tear, only to rule out fractures or structural abnormalities.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using a strong magnetic field, MRIs provide detailed images of soft tissues. A contrast material may be injected into the hip joint space to better define a labral tear that may be present.

Anesthesia injection

Hip pain can be caused by problems within the joint or outside the joint. Your doctor may suggest injecting an anesthetic into the joint space. If this relieves your pain, it's likely that your problem is inside your hip joint.

Treatments and drugs

Treatment choices will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Some people recover in a few weeks with conservative treatments, while others may require arthroscopic surgery to repair or remove the torn portion of the labrum.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others), can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Pain can also be controlled with an injection of corticosteroids into the joint.

Mar. 25, 2011