Acetabular labral (hip) tears | Treatments

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Contact the Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program

  • 617-355-6021
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
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How does Boston Children’s care for patients with labral tears?

Boston Children’s hip specialists are global leaders in hip care and offer unique expertise caring for teens and young adults with hip conditions. Although we’re recognized for our expertise in treating patients with complex labral tears, we offer the same level of care and attention to every patient.

Some labral tears are treated non-surgically with pain medication and physical therapy. Other tears may require minimally invasive (arthroscopic) surgery.

If you or a family member is diagnosed with a labral tear, you may wonder how it should be treated. We are honored to be recognized as the #1 Orthopedic Center, Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report. You will receive excellent treatment and support from our team of expert hip sub-specialists.

What is considered when determining a treatment plan for a labral tear?

•   a patient’s age, overall health and medical history
•   the type, extent and severity of the tear

Non-surgical treatment for labral tears

Treatment may include conservative approaches such as:

•   rest
•   activity restrictions
•   anti-inflammatory and pain medications
•   exercises and physical therapy (to strengthen the muscles around the hip joint and avoid stress)

Surgical treatment for labral tears

The labrum may not heal on its own, because there’s limited blood supply to the area. If the labrum doesn’t heal with conservative treatment, doctors may perform arthroscopic surgery.

During this minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon makes two or three keyhole incisions. She inserts a thin scope to see the joint. Then she repairs or removes damaged tissue.

How long does it take to recover from arthroscopic surgery?

Your care team will help you stand and walk with crutches after surgery. For the first two to three weeks, crutches are used to support your weight (partial weight-bearing). Physical therapy to help restore muscle strength and range of motion begins after surgery. Most patients can return to sports four to six months after surgery.

What is the long-term outlook for patients with labral tears?

For many patients, minimally-invasive hip arthroscopy is very successful in relieving symptoms and improving hip function

If you have an underlying hip condition, your doctor will discuss long-term results of surgery and possible additional treatment in the future.

How does Boston Children’s support my family?

Teen Advisory Committee

To help teenagers take a more proactive role in their care and to have their needs recognized, Boston Children’s developed the Teen Advisory Committee. The group—made up of current patients, ages 14 to 21—serves as a team of peers who can listen to other patients’ needs and ensure that their voices are heard.

Center for Families

You may find a hospital visit stressful. We offer services to make your child's—and your own—hospital experience as pleasant as possible. Visit the Center for Families for all you need to know about:

•   Getting to Boston Children's
•   Accommodations
•   Navigating the hospital experience
•   Resources that are available for your family

Other resources

The hip care team at Boston Children’s can connect you with resources to help you and your family cope with a labral tear, including:


•   patient education: From doctor's appointments to treatment to follow-up, our nurses and physical therapists will
    walk you through your child's diagnosis, surgery and recovery. After you return home, we'll help you coordinate care
    and support.
•   parent-to-parent: Do you want to talk with someone whose child has been treated for an acetabular labral tear?
    Our Orthopedic Center can often put you in touch with other families who've been through the same experience that
    you and your child are facing.
•   faith-based support: If you're in need of spiritual support, we'll connect you with the Boston Children's chaplaincy.
    Our program includes nearly a dozen clergy—representing Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and other faith
    traditions—who will listen to you, pray with you and help you observe your own faith practices during your hospital
•   social work: Our social workers and mental health clinicians have helped many other families in your situation.
    We can offer counseling and assistance with issues such as coping with your child's diagnosis, stresses relating to
    coping with illness and dealing with financial issues.  


We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944