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Labrum Tears

The head of the upper arm bone fits in a shallow socket in the shoulder blade called the glenoid. A soft fibrous tissue rim called the labrum surrounds the socket to help stabilize the joint and serves as an attachment for ligaments. Injuries to the labrum can occur from acute trauma or repetitive shoulder motion. Throwing athletes or weightlifters can experience glenoid labrum tears as a result of repetitive shoulder motion.

The symptoms of a tear in the labrum include: pain, usually with overhead activities; catching, locking, popping, or grinding; occasional pain at rest; a sense of instability in the shoulder; decreased range of motion; and weakness. Patients may remember a specific incident or may note that the pain has gradually increased. A Tenet Florida Physician Services doctor will test range of motion, stability, and pain level. In addition, the doctor will request X-rays or other imaging.

Arthroscopy allows a doctor to insert a tiny camera through a small incision. The camera relays images to a monitor where the doctor can diagnose and sometimes repair damage. If the tear extends into the biceps tendon or if the tendon is detached, the shoulder will need a more complex surgery.

Post-operative rest and rehabilitation are important parts of recovery. There will also be a detailed physical therapy plan. Athletes can usually begin doing exercises about six weeks after surgery, but full healing takes three to four months.

Previous Page Last Review Date: December 19, 2017
Labrum Tears Team
Jonathan Hersch, MD, FAAOS

Jonathan Hersch, MD, FAAOS

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, Shoulder, Knee & Hip Arthroscopy
Boca Raton 33428