Labral Tears and Shoulder Pain

At AOSM, we assist patients with a wide variety of shoulder injuries and shoulder pain. Typically when we write about these injuries, we list the most common culprits and assure you that they can be resolved surgically if necessary. But sometimes I like to drill down and take a closer look at a single shoulder injury, offering a guide to how it happens and how it may improve.

Labral tears are some of the most frequent injuries in sports. When someone falls on an arm and overextends a shoulder, or catches herself in a sudden overhead reaching motion, a tear may result in the tissue surrounding the shoulder socket. This page includes some basic symptoms you’ll want to watch out for, including:

  • 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

Labral tears are revealed through CT or MRI scans, and may require surgery if the trauma is too great to recover on its own. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is the preferred means of correcting the tear, typically through removing the torn flap and repairing any tendons which have grown unstable.

It is a familiar procedure which comes with a high success rate: many patients are able to return to their normal lives within a few months. My San Diego orthopedic surgery practice specializes in labral tear surgery and a variety of cutting edge interventions for chronic shoulder pain. To learn more, please call or write us today.

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