The primary function of the acetabular labrum, like that of the glenoid, is to deepen the socket and improve joint stability. Tears of the acetabular labrum are common in older adults but occur in all age groups and with equal frequency in males and females. The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides), Fifth Edition, is silent about rating tears, partial or complete excision, or repair of the acetabular labrum. Provocative tests to detect acetabular labrum tears involve hip flexion and rotation; all rely on production of pain in the groin (typically), clicking, and/or locking with passive or active hip motions. Diagnostic tests or procedures rely on x-rays, conventional arthrography, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA), and hip arthroscopy. Hip arthroscopy is the gold standard for diagnosis but is the most invasive and most likely to result in complications, and MRA is about three times more sensitive and accurate in detecting acetabular labral tears than MRI alone. Surgical treatment for acetabular labrum tears usually consists of arthroscopic debridement; results tend to be better in younger patients. In general, an acetabular labral tear, partial labrectomy, or labral repair warrants a rating of 2% lower extremity impairment. Evaluators should avoid double dipping (eg, using both a Diagnosis-related estimates and limited range-of-motion tests).

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