Sex-based differences in the clinical presentation of patients with symptomatic hip labral tears

Dror Lindner, Youssef F. El Bitar, Timothy J. Jackson, Adam Y. Sadik, Christine E. Stake, Benjamin G. Domb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: An increasing body of literature describes the clinical presentation and demographics of patients with hip labral tears. The differences in pelvic structure and joint laxity between sexes have been described; however, no study has evaluated differences in the clinical presentation of patients with symptomatic labral tears between sexes. Purpose: To describe the differences between sexes in demographics, clinical history, physical examination, and intraoperative findings in patients with symptomatic labral tears. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Data were prospectively collected between February 2008 and February 2013 on 1401 patients who had symptomatic labral tears and underwent arthroscopic surgery. Hips with previous pathologic disorders were excluded. Data on demographics and clinical history were gathered, and a physical examination was performed. Preoperative pain was estimated on the visual analog scale (VAS), and 4 hip-specific patient-reported outcomes (PROs) were administered to evaluate functional status. Intraoperative findings were recorded. Results: A total of 654 patients met our inclusion/exclusion criteria, with 320 males and 334 females. The median age for males was 38.3 years (range, 15.0-69.6 years) and for females 40.4 years (range, 13.1-66.8 years). Male patients had a higher incidence of acute injury than females (39.6% vs 27.6%, respectively; P < .05) and a higher incidence of workers' compensation status (14.1% vs 4.5%, respectively; P < .05). Females had increased range of motion compared with males, which was statistically significant for all range of motion measurements (P < .05). The anterior impingement test was positive in 94.4% of females and 92.9% of males, the flexion/abduction/external rotation test was positive in 59.5% of females and 61.5% of males, and the lateral impingement test was positive in 55.0% of females and 59.2% of males, but there was no statistically significant difference between sexes in any of the tests. Pain with palpation over the greater trochanter was positive in 22.0% of males and 36.9% of females (P < .0001). Females had lower PROs; however, VAS scores were similar. Conclusion: Male and female patients differ in their hip structure, biomechanics, and operative findings of symptomatic labral tears. However, they do not differ substantially in clinical presentation, except that males are more likely to report an acute injury and females are more likely to be evaluated with increased range of motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1365-1369
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Arthroscopy
  • Hip
  • Labrum
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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