Ligamentum teres tears

common problems

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Ligamentum teres

The ligamentum teres extends from the ball of the hip (at the top of the picture) to the base of the hip socket.

What is the ligamentum teres?

The ligamentum teres is a strong ligament that joins the apex of the ball of the hip to the base of the socket. In children, it carries an important blood supply to the ball of the hip, but in adults it is probably most important for proprioception (joint position sense) of the hip. In some athletes doing high flexibility sport (like ballet or gymnastics) or high kicking sport (like tae kwon do or kickboxing), it may be important for hip joint stability.

How does it get torn?

In most people, ligamentum teres tears are associated with early degeneration of the hip. In these people, it may be very inflamed, and this may be an important part of the course of their hip joint pain. In young people with otherwise normal hips, the ligament can be partially or completely torn during high-speed twisting movements. This is an unusual and difficult to diagnose cause of the hip pain in athletes.

How can a ligamentum teres tear be treated?

In most people, the ligament can be completely removed without any adverse consequences. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to simply trim or even repair the ligament. These procedures can be performed during arthroscopic surgery.