Labrum Anatomy

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint enveloped in dense capsular tissue. The Y-shaped triradiate cartilage acetabulum covers 170° of the femoral head [3]. The acetabular labrum is a fibrocartilaginous structure that outlines the ace-tabular socket. Labral attachment occurs at the periphery of the labrum to the capsule, and is anchored anteriorly and posteriorly at the acetabular transverse ligament. The posterior labrum has a sulcus that can be mistaken for pathology (Fig. 1). Its free margin articulates with the articular surface. The thickness of the labrum and its morphology may slightly vary, but it is from 2 to 3 mm thick, and extends 2 to 3 mm past the acetabular socket. Neuroreceptors have been identified and may provide propioception to the hip joint [4]. This may explain

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Fig. 1. Arthroscopic view of posterior labrum and a normal sulcus.

the decrease in propioception and pain with labral tears. Kelly and colleagues [5] have shown a limited blood supply to the periphery of the labrum (Fig. 2), demonstrating the healing potential for detached labral tears with arthroscopic labral repair. The labrum has been shown to provide secondary stability to the bony constrained hip joint. The intact labrum has been shown to have a sealant effect on the hip joint that maintains fluid for articular cartilage [6-8].

Ferguson and coworkers [6-8] have shown increased cartilage surface consolidation with deficient labral tissue, and demonstrated the role of the labrum in resisting lateral and vertical motion of the femoral head within the acetabulum.

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