A shoulder labral tear is an injury to the cartilage in the shoulder joint. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The ball is the end of the arm bone (humerus). This ball fits into the bowl-shaped socket of the shoulder (glenoid). Cartilage lines the socket to keep movement smooth. When the cartilage tears it is called a shoulder labral tear.
The tool and arrow point to the cartilage of the glenoid.
These factors increase your chance of a labral tear. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
Participation in certain sports, such as:
If you have any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to a labral tear. They may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
Shoulder and/or arm pain
Catching or loosening feeling of shoulder
Loss of shoulder range of motion
Weakness to shoulder and/or arm
Pain with shoulder movement
Popping or grinding sensation
Achiness to shoulder
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You will likely be referred to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon.
Tests may include the following:
Thorough physical exam—including an evaluation of your shoulder range of motion and stability
—may be used to rule out a broken bone or other problem
with contrast—test that uses magnetic waves and a contrast dye to make pictures of the body’s structures like the shoulder
with contrast—type of x-ray that uses computer and contrast to make pictures of the body’s structures like the shoulder
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Rest, heat, and/or ice
Physical therapy to strengthen muscles
Generally this treatment is tried for several weeks. If there is no improvement, surgery is considered. Your doctor may also inject a steroid directly into your shoulder to decrease inflammation and pain.
, your surgeon inserts a thin, lighted tube through a small incision to view the injury and fix it. Small instruments are threaded through this tube. The torn cartilage may be removed or sewn together. Your surgeon may also use wires or tacks to reattach any torn tendons.
After surgery you will be given a
to wear for three to four weeks. Once the sling is removed you will work with a physical therapist to gradually strengthen your arm muscles and increase your motion.
There are no known guidelines to prevent a shoulder labral tear.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a