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A biomechanical basis for tears of the human acetabular labrum?
  1. Chris Smith (drcs1{at}
  1. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
    1. Spyridon Masouros (s.masouros04{at}
    1. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
      1. Adam Hill (adam.hill98{at}
      1. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
        1. Andrew Amis (a.amis{at}
        1. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
          1. Anthony M J Bull (a.bull{at}
          1. Imperial College London, United Kingdom


            Objective: Acetabular labral tears predominantly affect young patients and are a source of hip pain in the athlete. Four causes of the initiation of labral tears have been proposed; trauma, hypo-laxity of the anterior capsule, dysplasia and bony impingement. A further cause could be reduced biomechanical properties in the area most susceptible to tears. However, no work has defined these properties.

            Design: 32 compressive and 32 tensile test samples were harvested from fresh frozen cadaveric acetabula. The labrum was divided into eight areas to allow comparison around its circumference. Semi-confined compressive testing and tensile testing was performed at a displacement rate of 10 mm/min in a controlled environment of 100% humidity at 37±1ºC.

            Setting: Cadaveric study

            Results: The mean compressive stiffness was 31.75 MPa (S.D. 16.7) and mean tensile elastic modulus was 24.7 MPa (S.D.±10.8). The anterosuperior region had a significantly lower compressive elastic modulus than either of the posterior quadrants (p<0.05) and a significantly lower tensile modulus to the anterioinferior area (p<0.05).

            Conclusions: The biomechanical properties in the anterosuperior region may be a contributing factor to the initiation of labral tears.

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