Shoulder Labrum Tear

What is a Shoulder Labrum Tear and how is it treated?

What is Shoulder Labrum?

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint composed of the head of the humerus (arm bone) and glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder blade). The labrum is a soft tissue ring around the shoulder joint that helps hold the humerus in the glenoid cavity.

In some cases, the labrum can become torn as the result of repetitive wear and tear of the tissue.  In other instances, a labrum tear is caused by a partial or complete dislocation of the shoulder.  These injuries are especially common in athletes, weightlifters and those whose jobs require repetitive overhead lifting or swinging.

Symptoms of shoulder labrum tears can include:

  • Pain when raising the arm overhead
  • A dull or aching pain in the shoulder
  • Popping or clicking in the shoulder
  • A grinding feeling in the shoulder
  • Shoulder weakness

The Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Shoulder Specialists at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates are experts in thoroughly evaluating, accurately diagnosing, and effectively treating shoulder labrum tears.

How is it treated?

The treatment options for shoulder labrum tears is often based on the severity of the tear as well as the severity of the symptoms.

Some shoulder labrum tears may be treated using nonsurgical treatment options. These can include:

  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy is used to stabilize the shoulder joint by strengthening shoulder muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Injections may be used to help patients participate in physical therapy and decrease pain.

Shoulder labrum tears that do not respond to nonsurgical treatment or cause frequently shoulder dislocations may require surgical intervention. The Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Shoulder Specialists at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates perform a variety of arthroscopic shoulder procedures to repair labrum tears.  At Olympia Orthopaedic Associates our goal is to create a treatment plan tailored to you so that you can return to an active and healthy lifestyle!