Acetabular labral (hip) tears | Testing and Diagnosis

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The first step to treating a labral tear is a timely, complete and accurate diagnosis. Our goal is to diagnose and treat your child’s labral tear early in order to minimize her risk of developing arthritis (joint inflammation, resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and limited movement) of her hip joint.

How is a labral tear diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask for a complete medical and family history (including any hip problems in the family). The doctor will conduct a physical exam, which may include:

An impingement test

•   flexion (bending)
•   adduction (movement inwards toward the body)
•   internal (for anterior tear) and/or external (for posterior tear) rotations of the hip joint

The McCarthy test

•   flexion (bending in both hips)
•   extension (straightening the affected hip)

Your doctor may order imaging tests:

•   Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): produces detailed images of organs and structures; shows the amount of
    damage to the labrum and any other parts of the hip, such as cartilage and/or ligaments

•   X-ray: to rule out a fracture and characterize the bony anatomy

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