Shoulder Labrum Tear

What is a labral shoulder tear?

The labrum is a piece of cartilage that surrounds the socket of your shoulder joint. A tear in the labrum can cause pain, weakness, and instability in your shoulder. Labral tears are often caused by repetitive overhead motions, such as those often used in sports like baseball, tennis, and swimming. They can also be caused by a single traumatic event, such as a fall. Labral tears are most common in people between the ages of 20 and 50.

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Symptoms of Labral Tears

The symptoms of a labral shoulder tear can vary, depending on the extent of the injury. They may include:

  • Pain, particularly when you move your shoulder in certain positions
  • A popping or catching sensation in your shoulder
  • Weakness in your shoulder
  • Instability in your shoulder, making it feel like it might pop out of socket

Bicep Tendinitis

If you have a labral tear, you may also have biceps tendinitis. This is inflammation of the tendon that connects your biceps muscle to your shoulder.

Biceps tendinitis can cause pain in the front of your shoulder and upper arm. It can also cause weakness in your arm and a dull ache when you rest..

Diagnosing Labral Shoulder Tears

There are two other types of labral tears:

SLAP tears: These occur at the top of your shoulder socket, where the biceps tendon attaches. SLAP stands for Superior Labrum, Anterior to Posterior.

Bankart tears: These occur lower down on your shoulder socket. They’re often caused by a dislocated shoulder.

How is a labral shoulder tear diagnosed?

To diagnose a labral shoulder tear, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They’ll also do a physical exam. During the exam, they’ll move your arm in different positions to see if there’s any pain or popping.

They may also order imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to get a better look at the structures in your shoulder.

Treating Labral Tears

Treating Labral Tears often requires a combination of treatments, including:

  • Rest and ice: This can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Physical therapy: A therapist can teach you exercises to improve your range of motion and strengthen the muscles around your hip.
  • Corticosteroid injections: These can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Surgery: If other treatments don’t work, you may need surgery to repair or remove the damaged tissue.