| Risk Factors
A shoulder labral tear is tear of the labrum. The labrum is the tissue that helps hold the end of the arm bone, known as the humerus, in place.
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Shoulder labral tears occur from an injury or through long-term wear and tear. Common causes include the following:
Factors that may increase your chance of a labral tear include:
Participation in certain sports, such as:
- Baseball (pitchers)
- Falling onto your shoulder
- Repetitive movements of the shoulder
- Lifting heavy objects
- Breaking a fall with your arms
- Direct blow to the shoulder
Symptoms may include:
- Shoulder and/or arm pain
- Catching or loosening feeling of the shoulder
- Loss of shoulder range of motion
- Weakness of shoulder and/or arm
- Pain with shoulder movement
- Popping or grinding sensation
- Achiness of the shoulder
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Imaging tests to evaluate the shoulder and surrounding structures may include:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. You will likely be referred to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon. Treatment options include the following:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- 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.
In a shoulder
arthroscopy, a surgeon 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 ligament/tissue may be removed or sewn together. Wires or tacks may also be used to reattach any torn tendons.
After surgery, you will be given a
to wear for up to 4 weeks. When the sling is removed, you will work with a physical therapist to gradually strengthen your arm muscles and increase your motion.
To help reduce your chance of a shoulder labral tear:
- Use the proper technique when playing sports.
- Avoid putting yourself at risk for trauma to the shoulder area.
- Perform stretching and strengthening exercises that target the shoulder area.