Labrum Tear Treatment
Your shoulder labrum is soft cartilage that lines your joint's socket and helps keep the ball of the joint in place. If your labrum tears, your shoulder may hurt or feel loose. Reach out to EvergreenHealth for specialized treatment to relieve pain and restore your joint’s stability.
Causes of a Torn Labrum
You may experience a labral injury because of:
- Shoulder dislocation (popped shoulder)
- Athletic activities, like throwing a baseball, that repeatedly stress your biceps tendon (tissue that connects the biceps muscle to bone)
- Joint wear and tear as you age
Signs & Symptoms
Depending on the part of your labrum that's torn, you may experience pain. If you have a Bankart tear (injury at the bottom of the labrum), your shoulder can be unstable and easily slip out of place.
Diagnosing Labral Tears
Your doctor may order an MRI, sometimes with an injection of a special dye, to identify a labrum injury. In some cases, your doctor will also inject an anesthetic (numbing medicine) to confirm that your labrum is the cause of your shoulder pain.
Your shoulder could hurt because of a torn rotator cuff, which is very close to the labrum. An experienced, fellowship-trained shoulder surgeon at EvergreenHealth will make sure you get a correct diagnosis, so you receive the correct treatment for you.
Treating Labrum Injuries
Expect a personalized treatment plan based on your specific type of labral tear, age, health, lifestyle, and other factors.
If your main symptom is pain, your orthopedic surgeon will likely recommend physical therapy to strengthen your shoulder muscles and help the joint move more comfortably.
You may benefit from surgery at EvergreenHealth if:
- Rehabilitation doesn't offer enough pain relief
- Your shoulder is unstable after a dislocation and needs a procedure called Bankart repair, which reattaches torn tissue to your joint
- You have a tear at the top of your labrum, also called a superior labrum from anterior to posterior (SLAP) injury, which a surgeon can treat by repairing it or reattaching the biceps tendon outside the joint
Ask your fellowship-trained shoulder surgeon as many questions as you need to understand your options and likely outcomes. We want you to feel fully informed and confident in your choice of treatment.