We evaluated the percentage of patients with acetabular labral tears who have a structural hip abnormality detectable by conventional radiography. Records from our institution from 1996 through 2002 were reviewed to identify all patients with labral tears. Patients were excluded who had classic hip dysplasia, advanced osteoarthritis, or a history of pelvic or femoral osteotomy. The hip radiographs were evaluated for abnormalities of Tönnis angle, center-edge angle of Wiberg, acetabular version, femoral neck-shaft angle, congruency between the femoral head and acetabulum, anterior femoral head-neck offset, and presence of femoral head osteophytes. Twenty-seven of the 31 patients (87%) had at least one abnormal finding and 35% had more than one abnormality. Ten patients had a retroverted acetabulum, 16 had coxa valga, 11 had an abnormal femoral head-neck offset, and 14 had osteophytes on the femoral head. Four of 31 patients (13%) had no identifiable structural abnormalities. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document that the majority of patients with labral tears have a structural hip abnormality detectable with conventional radiographs. Familiarity with these structural abnormalities is important for early detection and accurate diagnosis, and may impact optimal treatment planning and prognosis.