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Shoulder Labral Tears

Shoulder labral tears are a common injury that can cause pain and limited mobility in the shoulder joint. The labrum is a ring of cartilage around the socket of the shoulder blade (scapula), which helps to deepen the socket and stabilize the shoulder joint. A tear in this cartilage can occur due to injury, degeneration, or overuse, causing pain, weakness, and instability in the shoulder.

What are the causes of labral tears in the shoulder?

Shoulder labral tears can cause a variety of painful symptoms
Shoulder labral tears can cause a variety of painful symptoms

There are several potential causes of shoulder labral tears, including:

  1. Traumatic injury: A direct blow to the shoulder or a fall on an outstretched arm can cause a tear in the labrum.
  2. Overuse: Repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing a ball or lifting weights, can put stress on the labrum and lead to tears over time.
  3. Degenerative changes: As we age, the labrum can wear down and become brittle, making it more susceptible to tears.

What symptoms can a shoulder labral tear cause?

Symptoms can vary depending on the degree and type of labral tear. Some common symptoms include:

  1. Pain in the shoulder, especially with overhead activities
  2. Weakness in the shoulder
  3. A popping or clicking sensation in the shoulder
  4. Instability in the shoulder joint, causing the shoulder to feel like it is slipping out of place

What diagnoses and treatments are available for shoulder labral tears?

Diagnosis of a shoulder labral tear typically involves a physical examination, imaging studies (such as an MRI), and potentially a diagnostic injection. The treatment process is customized for each individual and may include:

  1. Physical therapy: A physical therapist can help to improve shoulder strength and mobility, reducing pain and instability.
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
  3. Corticosteroid injections: In some cases, a corticosteroid injection may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain.
  4. Surgery: If conservative treatments are not effective, surgery may be recommended to repair or remove the torn labrum.

If you believe you may have a shoulder labral tear, or any other shoulder or orthopedic condition, our team of expert physicians is standing by to help you get back to doing what you do best - living life. You can request an appointment using the form on this page or by calling (321) 499-4646

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