What is Shoulder Labral Tear?

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.

Shoulder Labral Tear

Shoulder Labral Tear

What are the causes of Shoulder Labral Tear?

Shoulder labral tears occur from an injury or through long-term wear and tear. Common causes include the following:

  • Dislocated Shoulder
  • Falling onto shoulder
  • Repetitive movements of shoulder
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Breaking a fall with arms
  • Direct blow to shoulder

What are the symptoms of Shoulder Labral Tear?

The symptoms of a tear in the shoulder socket rim are very similar to those of other shoulder injuries. Symptoms include

  • Pain, usually with overhead activities
  • Catching, locking, popping, or grinding
  • Occasional night pain or pain with daily activities
  • A sense of instability in the shoulder
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Loss of strength

What are the common types of labral tears?

The most common patterns of labral tears are:

  • SLAP Tears: A Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior (SLAP) tear is most commonly seen in overhead throwing athletes, such as baseball and tennis players.
  • Bankart Lesions: A Bankart lesion occurs when a shoulder dislocates. When the shoulder comes out of joint, the labrum is torn, and makes the shoulder more susceptible to future dislocations.
  • Posterior Labral Tears: Posterior labral tears are less common, but sometimes seen in athletes in a condition called internal impingement. In this syndrome, the rotator cuff and labrum are pinched together in the back of the shoulder.

How is Shoulder Labral Tear diagnosed?

  • Physical exam—including an evaluation of your shoulder range of motion and stability
  • X-rays can rule out chips, cracks or other problems with bones but they can not identify soft tissue injuries like labral tears.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI are very effective in identifying labral tears.
  • The “gold” standard for identifying a labral tear is through arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder.

What are the treatments for Shoulder Labral Tear?

Non Surgical Treatment

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • 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.

Surgical Treatment

In a shoulder arthroscopy, Dr Kevin Yip 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. Dr Kevin Yip may also use wires or tacks to reattach any torn tendons.

NOTE: There are many treatments available for shoulder labral tear. Talk with Dr Kevin Yip about the best treatment plan for you. Call us at (65) 64762106 for an appointment now.

Contact Us

Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.