Nonoperative Management of Labral Tears of the Hip in Adolescent Athletes: Description of Sports Participation, Interventions, Comorbidity, and Outcomes

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Hip injury among young athletes is increasing, especially hip labral tears. Some tears may require surgical intervention, especially if they are associated with boney pathology such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). A protocol for nonoperative treatment of the hip labral tears is not well established.


To identify current nonoperative treatment options, comorbidities, sports participation, and outcomes of adolescent athletes who were diagnosed with hip labral tears.

Study Design:

Retrospective chart review.


A regional tertiary level medical and academic institution.


Physically active 8- to 20-year-old males and females who were diagnosed with hip labral tears in 2010 to 2013.

Main Outcome Measures:

Nonoperative treatment interventions including physical therapy (PT), intraarticular injection (IAI), the type of sports participation, and comorbidity were extracted.

Statistical Analysis:

Descriptive statistics and χ2 tests were used with a priori alpha level <0.05.


Among 76 adolescent athletes who were diagnosed with hip labral tear, 52 (68.4%) had PT, 55 (72.4%) received IAI, and 43 (56.6%) experienced both PT and IAI interventions. Top 3 sports participated were dance (18.4%), soccer (14.5%), and gymnastics (7.9%). The most common comorbidity was FAI, which was observed in 46 individuals (60.5%). Although there was no difference in a proportion of FAI cases between sexes, a greater proportion of surgical cases were observed among hip labrum–injured athletes with FAI compared with those without FAI (P = 0.032).


Adolescent athletes with hip labral tears often receive PT, IAI, and a combination of both, as nonoperative treatment options in this study cohort. The adolescent athletes who sustained hip labral tears with comorbidity of FAI had significantly greater proportion of surgical cases after nonoperative treatments.

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