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Patient Education:
Treatment Options For Labrum Tears

Treatment Options For Labrum Tears

A labrum tear is a risk for all athletes who play sports with repetitive shoulder movements. Baseball players and tennis players especially tend to overuse the shoulder joint and sustain these tears.

Non-athletes who suffer from a fall or practice heavy lifting can also experience this injury. While it can be painful, a labrum tear is very treatable through rest or orthopedic surgery, depending on the severity.

What is a labrum tear?

The labrum is a cartilage cuff at the end of the humerus that supports the ball and socket joint in the shoulder. It allows for a large range of motion, which is why it is often vulnerable to injury.

There are three types of labrum tears:

SLAP Tear:
A tear located at the top of the labrum that often results from repetitive overhead activity.

Bankart Lesions:
Tears resulting from a shoulder dislocation.

Posterior Labral Tears:
Tears that arise from shoulder impingement syndrome, which is when the rotator cuff and labrum pinch together.

Pain will occur at the location of the tear and is usually described as an aching pain that becomes worse with movement. Patients also report frequent dislocations, catching or popping, clicking, and a feeling that the shoulder is very loose.

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Pain will occur at the location of the tear and is usually described as an aching pain that becomes worse with movement. Patients also report frequent dislocations, catching or popping, clicking, and a feeling that the shoulder is very loose.

How are labrum tears treated?

Rest and physical therapy are the first methods of treatment prescribed by an orthopedic surgery clinic. Patients may wear immobilizing devices and will learn to strengthen their rotator cuff muscles. These conservative treatments are normally effective as long as patients limit activity.

If patients do not recover, an orthopedic surgeon will recommend arthroscopic surgery. Using micro technology, the doctor locates the tear and then repairs it with small metal screws. If the labrum is torn but mostly stable, doctors will often remove the torn flap, which relieves a patient’s pain. Once ligaments are reattached and the shoulder socket tightened, patients report tremendous relief.

It takes the shoulder three to four months to fully heal after surgery and patients attend physical therapy during that time. Athletes often return to their sports six weeks after the procedure.

Want To Learn More About Treating A Labrum Tear? Contact Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

If you are facing persistent shoulder pain, it is a good idea to visit an orthopedic surgery clinic. Contact Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, with offices in Hackensack, Emerson, Elmwood Park or Montclair, NJ at 1-844-ACTIVE-ORTHO.