Nonsurgical Treatment of Acetabular Labral Tears

J Sport Rehabil. 2018 Jul 1;27(4):380-384. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2016-0109. Epub 2018 May 4.


Clinical Scenario: Surgical treatment of acetabular labral tears has been explored in multiple studies, while there is a lack of research on the effectiveness of conservative methods. Focused Clinical Question: To what extent can nonsurgical treatment produce symptomatic or functional improvements in athletes with an acetabular labral tear? Summary of Search, Best Evidence Appraised, and Key Findings: The literature was searched for studies of patients with confirmed acetabular labral tears who participated in any level of sport. Four studies were located, all of which were included. Clinical Bottom Line: The research discussed in this review agreed that conservative management of acetabular labral tears produced measurable improvements in pain and function among the athletes studied, including their ability to participate in sport activities. Based on these findings, it appears that conservative management is effective at rehabilitating athletes with acetabular labral tears. However, this method should not be applied to every athlete based on the low strength of current research. Treatment plans should be decided upon on a case-by-case basis. Strength of Recommendation: The studies located were of low quality. The highest Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine Level of Evidence achieved was 4. Higher level studies must be conducted before the conclusions of this research can be applied clinically with assertion. Strength of recommendation is level 3.

Keywords: acetabular labral tear; conservative management; hip; nonsurgical; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / injuries*
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries*
  • Conservative Treatment*
  • Hip Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Sports