Advances in hip arthroscopy have renewed interest in the ligamentum teres. Considered by many to be a developmental vestige, it is now recognised as a significant potential source of pain and mechanical symptoms arising from the hip joint. Despite improvements in imaging, arthroscopy remains the optimum method of diagnosing lesions of the ligamentum teres. Several biological or mechanical roles have been proposed for the ligament. Unless these are disproved, the use of surgical procedures that sacrifice the ligamentum teres, as in surgical dislocation of the hip, should be carefully considered. This paper provides an update on the development, structure and function of the ligamentum teres, and discusses associated clinical implications.

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