Glenoid Labrum Tears

Understanding Your Condition

What is a labrum injury?

The labrum is a cartilage structure found in the shoulder. One of the most complex joints in the body, the shoulder contains the humerus, scapula, and clavicle bones. It also contains the rotator cuff and the bursa. There are two types of cartilage in the shoulder. Articular cartilage is located at the ends of the bones, and the labrum, which is more fibrous, is found around the socket. The labrum deepens the socket and helps the ball of the shoulder joint stay in place. Ligaments that help hold the joint together. Injuries to the labrum can cause pain and affect the stability of the shoulder.

What are the causes and symptoms of labrum injuries?

Causes of labrum injuries can vary. They can be caused by repetitive activity, trauma such as car accidents, or shoulder dislocations. There are three categories of labrum injuries. SLAP tears, or Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior tears, occur most often in athletes whose sports require overhead throwing. They can also occur during a fall, when forcefully pulling on the arm, during a shoulder dislocation, or during other rapid and forceful movements of the arm. Bankart labrum injuries occur due to shoulder dislocations, during which the shoulder becomes disconnected from the joint and the labrum is torn. This can lead to a higher risk of future shoulder dislocations. Posterior labral tears are fairly rare and occur at the back of the shoulder joint. Symptoms of labrum injuries include pain at the shoulder joint, loss of strength, loss of velocity during throwing movements, difficultly lifting objects overhead, a decrease in range of motion, and a feeling that the shoulder may pop out of the joint. The patient may also experience locking, popping or grinding sensations in the shoulder.

What is the diagnosis and treatment for labrum injuries?

In order to diagnose an injured labrum, a healthcare provider will assess range of motion, stability, and pain levels during a physical exam. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may be obtained to properly diagnose as well as rule out any other conditions. Nonsurgical treatments for labrum injuries include rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy. Cortisone injections may also be administered to reduce swelling and relieve pain. If surgery is required, the injury can often be treated with a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure during which the surgeon will repair the labrum. The patient will want to follow their doctor’s and physical therapist’s recommendations in order to heal and regain optimal mobility.

Make an appointment with Mobility Bone & Joint Institute to understand your options. Please call (978) 794-1946 or (603) 898-2244 immediately to schedule an appointment or take advantage of our walk-in clinic in Haverhill and Andover Monday – Friday 8am-12pm and 1pm-3pm.

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