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Tears of the acetabular labrum are becoming recognized as a source of hip pain in the athlete. The diagnosis of acetabular labral tears is often delayed, leading to protracted periods of hip pain. In the athlete, symptomatic tears may lead to prolonged periods of missed play. Long-term, these lesions may results in degenerative chondral lesions and ultimately to degenerative joint disease. Treatment for labral tears entails initiation of early nonoperative therapy, with arthroscopic labral debridement reserved for refractory cases. This paper reviews the current knowledge on this subject, including the anatomy, function, and mechanism of injury of the labrum, and focuses on the history, diagnosis, and treatment guidelines for labral tears in the athlete.