Acetabular Labrum Lesion

The labrum is a highly flexible and richly innervated fibrous joint attached to the rim of the acetabulum, surrounding the femoral head with a tight seal. Thanks to its mechanical properties and sensory receptors, it stabilizes the hip and maintains a thin layer of synovial fluid between the cartilaginous surfaces. The labrum helps to conserve the hip’s condition by enhancing smooth movement.


Labrum lesions can arise from several, sometimes combined causes: acute trauma, repeated microtrauma, sports activities, etc. The presence of an underlying hip malformation (hip impingement or dysplasia) makes the labrum particularly vulnerable. The labrum is highly sensitive, and its lesions can lead to pain and cracking sounds. A labrum lesion may be isolated or often associated with a lesion of the acetabular cartilage.

Radiographic examination can assess the geometry of the hip joint, detect any underlying malformation (femoroacetabular impingement, dysplasia), and look for possible cartilage damage. The diagnosis is confirmed by cross-sectional imaging; MRI or arthro-CT scanning can visualize a labral cyst or tear and assess the condition of the cartilage.


If treated early, an isolated labrum lesion can be repaired or excised through arthroscopy with excellent results. If possible, the cause of the lesion should be corrected (eliminating hip impingement or correcting dysplasia). In cases of labrum lesions associated with advanced cartilage damage, the prognosis is less favorable.

For athletes, a labrum lesion indicates the vulnerability of their hip in a context of intense and sometimes extreme activity.