Treating Labral Tears

Posted on Monday, March 6, 2017 in Orthopedics

New technology often can discover new medical conditions.

Such has been the case since orthopedic surgeons began using a tiny TV camera called an arthroscope to diagnose and treat shoulder problems. They have found several conditions that no one knew existed.

One of those is an injury to a small structure in the shoulder called the labrum. A labral tear can cause pain and a catching sensation in the shoulder. Labral tears can be difficult to diagnose.

At Signature Medical Group, our orthopedic experts are trained in the latest techniques to diagnose and treat ailments in the shoulder and other joints and bones in the body. You often can see our specialists the same day you make an appointment. And we offer convenient hours at night and on weekends.

Labral tears are often caused by a direct injury to the shoulder, such as falling on an outstretched hand. The labrum can also become torn from overuse. An injured labrum can lead to shoulder instability. An extremely unstable shoulder may slip or dislocate and can also cause the labrum to tear.

The main symptom caused by a labral tear is a sharp pop or catching sensation in the shoulder during certain movements. This may be followed by a vague aching for several hours. At other times, the tear may not cause any pain. Shoulder instability from a damaged labrum may cause the shoulder to feel loose, as though it slips with certain movements.

The first step in treatment is for your Signature Medical Group doctor to control your pain and inflammation. Initial remedies include rest and anti-inflammatory medication, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Your doctor may suggest a cortisone injection if you have trouble getting your pain under control.

Because the labrum has a rich supply of blood, some labral tears heal on their own. For some types of labral tears, physical therapy may help. An exercise strengthening program may also be beneficial.

The orthopedic specialists at Signature Medical Group can explain all your options in dealing with shoulder pain. Make an appointment today and stop suffering.