What is a Labral Tear?
The labrum is the cartilage in the shoulder that helps to keep the ball of the shoulder joint in place. When the labrum is torn, it leads to instability in the shoulder, and it can often cause the shoulder to dislocate.
What are the Symptoms of a Labral Tear in the Shoulder?
Shoulder Labrum Tear Symptoms
Symptoms will vary based on the type of tear you have and how severe it is.
If you have a torn labrum, you will be feeling pain in your shoulder. It is common to feel locking or popping when moving the affected shoulder.
What Type of Shoulder Labral Tear Do I Have?
The two most common types of shoulder labral tears that occur are Bankart and SLAP.
Bankant Tear of the Shoulder
A Bankart tear involves the humeral head shifting. With this type of tear, you can expect to experience instability in the shoulder, pain, and weakness. Dislocation is quite common with this type of tear. Unfortunately, due to the risk of future dislocation, surgery is often necessary.
SLAP Tear of the Shoulder
SLAP, or superior labrum anterior to posterior, involves the biceps tendon being damaged. This is a tear that many athletes experience. A SLAP tear in the shoulder will have similar symptoms to a Bankart tear. Unlike a Bankart tear, a SLAP tear can often be treated without surgery.
What Causes a Shoulder Labral Tear?
Shoulder labral tears are typically caused from overuse, aging, and injury. Here are some examples of activities that may cause a labral tear:
- Being in a car accident
- Repetitive use of your shoulder when working out
- Working a job that involves frequent shoulder activity
- Sports injury
What Sports are the Highest Risk for Shoulder Injuries?
It is not uncommon for athletes to tear their labrum. Some sports that might put you or your child at a higher risk for a shoulder labral tear include:
- Baseball / Softball
Can a Labral Tear Heal on Its Own?
Yes, a labral tear can heal on its own without surgery. For non-athletes, treatment can often be anti-inflammatory medication, injections, and physical therapy.
If you are an athlete looking to get back on the field, your best option will be surgery. Surgery is the best way to make sure that your labrum heals properly.
How Do You Treat a Shoulder Labral Tear?
Treatment for labral tears will depend on the type of tear, and your lifestyle. Your labral tear specialist may recommend:
If surgery is necessary to repair your labrum, here are some surgical options that your shoulder doctor may recommend:
- Anterior labral repair (Bankart repair)
- Posterior labral repair
- SLAP repair (Superior labrum anterior posterior)
- Anterior and Posterior Capsulolabral plications
Can I Prevent a Labral Tear of the Shoulder?
It is not always possible to prevent a labral tear from happening; however, there are some things you can do to lower your risk:
- Stretch often
- Doing preventative physical therapy if you are an athlete
- Taking a break from activity if you experience shoulder pain
- Rest in the off season
- Ensure your injuries are healed completely before playing sports again
- Avoiding overuse in the shoulder
Where Can I find the Best Shoulder Labrum Treatment Near Me?
At Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics, we have the best shoulder doctors in Nashville, TN. Our doctors that treat shoulder pain are:
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our shoulder labral tear doctors, you can book online or call us.
If you do not live in middle Tennessee, look up the best shoulder doctors near you, or ask a friend for a recommendation.
Lannon, J. (2021, September 23). Labral tear of the shoulder: Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Labral Tear of the Shoulder | Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/orthopaedic-surgery/specialty-areas/sports-medicine/conditions-we-treat/labral-tear-shoulder.html.
TotalOrthoAdminz. (2021, February 1). Shoulder injuries: The two most common types of Labral Tears. Total Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from https://www.totalorthosportsmed.com/two-most-common-types-of-labral-tears/.