What is labrum repair?
The head of the upper arm bone rests in the glenoid, a socket in the shoulder blade. The socket is padded with a soft fibrous tissue rim called the labrum that helps stabilize the joint and serves as an attachment site for several ligaments. When the labrum is torn or damaged, it can cause pain and difficulty with movement.
In many cases, physical therapy, rest and medication may solve the problem. In some cases, repair is needed. Labrum repair is usually done through arthroscopy, which uses a tiny camera and tools inserted through small incisions around the shoulder area.
What are the causes and symptoms of a shoulder labrum tear?
Damage to the labrum in the shoulder socket occurs from acute trauma like falling on an outstretched arm, a blow to the shoulder, a sudden pull or jerk or repetitive shoulder motion. Athletes who throw or lift heavy weights are also at risk.
Symptoms of labrum tears can include pain, often with reaching overhead; a feeling of popping, catching, grinding or instability; and decreased strength and range of motion.
Am I a candidate?
After a full medical history, physical exam and certain tests, you and your physician will discuss if you are a candidate for surgery. Some health conditions or medications may prevent you from having this type of surgery.
What does labrum repair involve?
Your physician may begin treatment with anti-inflammatory medication, rest and rehabilitation exercises. If these conservative measures are insufficient, you may need surgery. During arthroscopic surgery, the doctor makes small incisions around the area. Then the doctor inserts a tiny camera and small instruments which help remove the torn areas and correct any tears and additional ligament problems. The procedure is done under anesthesia, which always has a small amount of risk. Your doctor will discuss any risks before surgery.
“I have extensive experience in shoulder arthroscopy as well as in the development of rotator cuff repair techniques and shoulder anchors to help perform shoulder surgery with ease and improved results.”
– Dr. Pedro Piza, orthopaedic surgeon, sports medicine, hip, knee and shoulder reconstruction specialist.
What is recovery like?
After surgery, you will need to keep your shoulder in a sling for several weeks, usually three to four. Your physician will also prescribe some exercises to do at home as you begin to heal. When the sling is removed, your physical therapy will increase to include more range of motion and other exercises. It is usually three to four months before the shoulder is totally healed.