Inside the shoulder is an intricate maze of ligaments and cartilage. Among them is something known as a ball joint. Attached to this ball joint, is the labrum. This piece of fibrocartilage is responsible for keeping the joint attached to the shoulder socket. If this fibrocartilage tears, it is known as a torn labrum or labrum tear. Typically, this injury is the result of trauma through sports or accidents, or it can be caused by the simple process of aging.

According to wikipedia the most common sports that lead to a glenoid labrum tear are baseball, swimming and football. This is because of the repetitive shoulder motions these sports require. So, what types of shoulder injuries occur when there is a labrum tear?

  • Posterior labrum tear: These tears are considered rare and only make up about 5-10% of labrum tear injuries. This tear occurs after injury is sustained to the back area of the shoulder.
  • Bankart tear or lesion: This injury occurs at the lower half of the glenoid. Younger individuals who have dislocated shoulders are more susceptible to this injury.
  • SLAP tear or lesion: This injury refers to a tear that is in the middle of the glenoid. The acronym SLAP stands for ‘superior labrum, anterior to posterior’. This is most commonly seen in tennis players, swimmers, baseball players, or anyone who uses the overhand motion on a regular basis.

According to Healthline there are various symptoms of a labrum tear. Some of these include things such as locking, popping, grinding and catching. Other symptoms include a restricted range of motion, loss of strength and general pain when engaging in activities that involve the shoulder or movement. You can find additional information on labrum tears by utilizing a search engine with the phrase torn labrum shoulder

What are my Treatment Options?

A labrum tear is known as being hard to diagnose. There are many other shoulder injuries that are similar to a torn labrum. Injuries such as a dislocated shoulder, rotator cuff injuries and torn tendons in the biceps, are often confused with torn labrum injuries. To diagnosis a labrum tear, typically a doctor will order a physical examination of the patient, along with x-rays and an MRI. Even with utilizing most of these medical instruments, a torn labrum is hard to diagnose. The best way to diagnose a torn labrum is through a surgical procedure called arthroscopy. An arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that uses a small camera, lenses and a small light to look at the affected joints.

Once the procedure is completed, the doctor will decide what treatment, if any, will be necessary. Many times, a physician may repair the damaged tissue or joint during the procedure with simple corrective surgery.

Some other options for the treatment of a torn labrum include things such as restricted rest, physical therapy, and other surgeries. The amount of treatment needed depends on the type of tear, the location, and whether the tear is significant or not.