The labrum is a specialised fibro-cartilagenous structure that surrounds the edge of the acetabulum (socket). It has a key role in deepening the socket and enhancing stability by maintaining negative pressure (suction effect) in the hip joint. The labrum also plays a role in the nutrition and health of the hip.
The labrum can be torn. This frequently happens in association with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), but can occur in isolation. Arthroscopic treatment of symptomatic labral tears involves either debridement (removal) or repair.
A significant number of labral tears are asymptomatic. MRI studies have shown labral tears in over 35% of healthy volunteers who had no hip pain.