If you play sports or work a job that requires repetitive arm or shoulder movements, you’re also susceptible to labral tears. Left untreated, a labral tear can lead to other more serious problems, negatively affecting your mobility and quality of life. At New Orleans Orthopedic Institute, in Metairie and Slidell, Louisiana, orthopedic shoulder surgeon, Brian Kindl, MD, and the team, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of labral tears. If you suspect you’ve suffered a labral tear, make an appointment today by calling the office nearest you or by using the online booking tool.
Your shoulder labrum is a piece of soft cartilage that sits inside the joint of your shoulder bone. It’s responsible for cupping and supporting the ball-shaped joint at the top of your upper arm.
A group of four muscles, known as the rotator cuff, work in coordination with your shoulder labrum, holding your shoulder joint in place. If you have a healthy, functioning shoulder labrum, you can lift your arm, throw, and lift. However, repetitive motions and general wear-and-tear can damage your labrum, causing pain, swelling, and discomfort.
At New Orleans Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Kindl and the team diagnose and treat several different types of labral tears, including:
If your labral damage occurs above the middle of the glenoid, it’s called a SLAP tear. SLAP stands for “superior labrum, anterior to posterior,” a simple way of saying front to back. SLAP labral tears are particularly common in athletes who use overhead arm motions, including baseball pitchers and tennis players.
If your labral tear occurs on the lower half of your glenoid socket, it’s called a Bankart tear. This type of labral damage can affect anyone, but it’s especially common in children and adolescents who suffer a dislocated shoulder.
Posterior labral tears are the rarest type of labral tear. They usually occur as a result of impact or injury to your upper back or the back of your shoulder. Posterior labral tears account for approximately 10-15% of all shoulder injuries.
The most common symptom of a labral tear is shoulder pain. Other telltale signs include:
As the condition progresses, you might also experience a sensation of instability or weakness in your shoulder.
To diagnose a labral tear, Dr. Kindl does a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you about your symptoms. To see if there’s damage to your labrum, he might also order an MRI or CT scan. If these measures don’t provide adequate insights, Dr. Kindl might recommend arthroscopy to further examine your labrum and shoulder joint.
Whenever possible, Dr. Kindl uses conservative measures of care to ease pain caused by labral tears. For example, you might benefit from rest, ice, and elevation, or physical therapy. If these treatments don’t provide relief, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Kindl performs labral tear surgery as a minimally invasive, outpatient surgery. During surgery, Dr. Kindl carefully removes the damaged portion of your labrum.
If shoulder pain is negatively affecting your quality of life, make an appointment at New Orleans Orthopedic Institute today by calling the office or using the online booking tool.