In medicine, the acetabular labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the socket of the hip joint, known as the acetabulum. The acetabular labrum acts as a cushion and helps to stabilize the hip joint by deepening the socket and providing a surface for the femoral head (the ball-shaped end of the thigh bone) to move smoothly within the joint.
The acetabular labrum can be damaged or torn due to injury or repetitive stress, leading to pain and instability in the hip joint. This condition is known as a labral tear. Some common causes of labral tears include athletic activities that involve sudden changes in direction or twisting movements, as well as degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of a labral tear can include hip pain, clicking or popping sensations in the joint, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Diagnosis of a labral tear typically involves a combination of physical examination, imaging studies such as an MRI or CT scan, and sometimes an arthroscopic procedure to visualize the joint directly.
Treatment of a labral tear may involve conservative measures such as rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as surgical intervention for more severe cases. Surgery may involve repair or removal of the damaged labrum, depending on the extent and location of the tear.
In summary, the acetabular labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the socket of the hip joint, providing cushioning and stability. Damage or tears to the labrum can lead to pain and instability in the hip joint, and may require medical intervention to manage.