A preliminary report on prevalence of acetabular labrum tears in sports patients with groin pain

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2003 Nov;11(6):403-8. doi: 10.1007/s00167-003-0390-7. Epub 2003 Jul 26.


To the best of our knowledge, this prospective study is the first to investigate the prevalence of acetabular labrum tears in athletes presenting with groin pain. Eighteen athletes who presented to our sports clinic with groin pain, underwent clinical assessment and magnetic resonance arthrography (MRa) to detect presence or absence of acetabular labrum tears. Ethical committee approval and informed consent was obtained from each patient. In four out of these eighteen athletes (22%) the MRa demonstrated the presence of acetabular labrum tear. Three of them underwent arthroscopic debridement of their acetabular labrum tears and returned to their sporting activities within 8 months. Clicking sensation of the hip was a sensitive (100%) and specific (85%) clinical symptom to predict labral tears. The internal rotation-flexion-axial compression manoeuvre was sensitive (75%) but not specific (43%). The Thomas test was neither sensitive nor specific. The conclusion of the study is that acetabular labrum tears can be a common cause of groin pain in athletes. Sports clinicians managing athletes with groin pain have to be well aware of the condition.

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / injuries*
  • Acetabulum / pathology
  • Acetabulum / physiopathology
  • Acetabulum / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthrography / methods
  • Arthroscopy
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Auscultation
  • Debridement
  • Female
  • Groin / physiopathology*
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Treatment Outcome