Hip Labral Tear | Diagnosis

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)

Imaging tests

  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): shows the amount of damage to the labrum and any other parts of the hip, such as cartilage or ligaments
  • X-ray: to rule out a fracture and characterize the bony anatomy
  • CT scan (computed tomography): is used to better evaluate the bony anatomy of the femur and the acetabulum (hip socket)
  • Ultrasound: a hip ultrasound with or without an associated hip injection may also be ordered to allow for dynamic assessment of the hip.

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