Ligamentum Teres Tears
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint which is made up of the thigh bone (femur) which forms the ball (femoral head) and pelvic bone which forms the socket (acetabulum). The hip is a very stable joint and is surrounded by very strong muscles and ligaments.
The ligamentum teres is a ligament which is within the hip joint and attaches from the middle of the femoral head to the middle of the acetabulum. In spite of what might seem like an obvious role in keeping the hip stable, the absolute role of the ligamentum teres in providing hip stability is unclear. This ligament may also play a role in supplying blood to the femoral head, but again the importance of this remains unclear.
What has been found however is that damage to the ligamentum teres can cause hip pain. Tears of the ligamentum teres are commonly found with other problems in the hip such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and labral tears. It is a common condition found in dancers and gymnasts.
It can be difficult to diagnose a ligamentum teres tears, as MRI scans are currently not accurate enough to reliably diagnose it. Fortunately, these tears can easily be diagnosed and treated by hip arthroscopy.