The glenoid labrum is a ring of thick tissue surrounding the bony cup of the shoulder. It is susceptible to injury with trauma to the shoulder joint. When a patient sustains a shoulder injury(shoulder dislocation as an example), the labrum may tear away from the bone. The labrum may also become more brittle and fray or tear as part of the aging process.
Symptoms of a Labral Tear
- Pain in the shoulder joint
- Catching of the shoulder with movement
- Pain with specific activities
Labral tears come in several different types including SLAP tears(tear of superior labrum), Bankart tears(tear of anterior labrum), and posterior labral tears. Each injury can cause significant pain, but differ in the way they occur. A SLAP tear is commonly seen in athletes that use overhead motions such as baseball and tennis players. Bankart tears may occur during a shoulder dislocation. During the dislocation, the labrum tears or separates from the bony attachment site. A posterior labral tear may occurs when the rotator cuff and labrum become pinched together in the back part of the shoulder or if the patient has a posterior shoulder dislocation.
Treatment options for labral tears may include a physical therapy program, but surgical intervention may be necessary in patients who don’t see relief from a non-surgical approach.
Contact Orthopedic Solutions for a complete evaluation.