The labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the rim of the socket in the hip joint. Like a gasket, the labrum serves as a kind of "suction seal" and cushions the joint. It also helps to provide stability. If it tears, often the result of an injury, it can cause pain, often in the inner hip area, and sometimes in the front and back of the hip. A catching or locking sensation in the joint is also a common symptom.
A labral tear can be caused by hip impingement, in which the top part or "ball" of the thigh bone does not fit well in the socket, causing friction. A labral tear can also result from instability; a sudden injury; or an overuse injury. Labral tears caused by degenerative changes are common in the aging population.
Sometimes a labral tear can cause the ball of the thigh bone to slip out of the socket. If the tear is in the back of the joint, it can limit leg movement and the ability to turn the foot inward. If the tear is in the front of the joint, it can limit the movement of the leg and the ability to turn the foot outward.
Potential Issues for Golfers with Labral Tears
- Squatting to read a putt may cause pinching or a temporary locking in the hip if the torn labrum is getting caught in the joint.
- Walking on soft wet ground may place an increased amount of stress on the joint and affect stability.
- It is not uncommon to have a restricted backswing with a labral tear, as well as possible groin pain on the rear leg.
- If the labral tear is in the lead leg, a golfer may experience pain during both the backswing and the downswing.