What is a Labrum Tear?

What is a Labrum Tear?

What is a Labrum Tear (Shoulder)?


First of all, we're talking about the labrum of the shoulder. If you are looking for info on the hip labrum, that's not what we're talking about here today.

Ok, the labrum. This is a piece of rubber-like tissue which it attached to the rim of the shoulder socket. It's called fibrocartilage, and it helps keep the "ball" of the joint in place.

This cartilage can become torn. Hence the term "labrum tear." We see this injury in aging athletes or as a result of direct injury to the shoulder.

What does a torn labrum feel like?

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At the time of the injury, you may here a POP followed by a catching sensation as you move the shoulder. Then you'll experience some aching and pain. You'll be certain you've sustained an injury to your shoulder.

Afterwards, the shoulder may continue to feel loose. This is instability in the shoulder. At this point, it's best to contact your physician.

How do We fix a labrum tear?

Our goal when we repair the torn labrum is to give you stability back to your shoulder.

Repairing the labrum will usually involve arthroscopy. This procedure is less invasive than an open procedure, which may be necessary in the case of a larger tear

How long does it take for a torn labrum to heal?

After the surgery, you'll still need to wait for the tear to completely heal. This may take from 2-3 months to happen. During this healing/recovery period, avoid doing high-impact activities with shoulder.

5 Symptoms of a Labrum Tear

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  • Deep, achy pain. The pain is usually felt deep inside the shoulder. It's more of an ache than a stinging pain.
  • Overhead motions cause pain
  • Clicking, grinding, or popping within the shoulder.
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Diffuculty performing in sports or doing regular tasks as a result of these things

Do you have to wear a sling after labrum tear surgery? For how long?


After surgery for a torn labrum, we use a sling to keep you from reinjury. You wear this for around 4 weeks. At that point, we ask that you continue to wear the sling when you sleep for another 2 weeks.

After you take off your sling and you are fully healed up, you should be able to get back to doing your favorite activities again. If there's one thing I love, it's seeing athletes out there doing there thing after surgery even better than ever. You can do it too!


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