The prevalence of acetabular labral tears and associated pathology in a young asymptomatic population

Bone Joint J. 2015 May;97-B(5):623-7. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.97B5.35166.


Acetabular labral tears and associated intra-articular pathology of the hip have been recognised as a source of symptoms. However, it is now appreciated that there is a relatively high prevalence of asymptomatic labral tears. In this study, 70 young asymptomatic adult volunteers with a mean age of 26 years (19 to 41) were recruited and underwent three tesla non-arthrographic MR scans. There were 47 women (67.1%) and 23 men (32.9%). Labral tears were found in 27 volunteers (38.6%); these were an isolated finding in 16 (22.9%) and were associated with other intra-articular pathology in the remaining 11 (15.7%) volunteers. Furthermore, five (7.1%) had intra-articular pathology without an associated labral tear. Given the high prevalence of labral pathology in the asymptomatic population, it is important to confirm that a patient's symptoms are due to the demonstrated abnormalities when considering surgery.

Keywords: Acetabular labral tear; hip arthroscopy; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum*
  • Adult
  • Asymptomatic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cartilage Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Young Adult