Shoulder Labral Tears
The labrum is a ring of elastic cartilage around the edge of the glenoid (shoulder socket). It acts as a container for the humeral head and essentially deepens the socket, wile creating a suction seal of the joint to increasestability. Labral tears may be caused by falls or collisions, often in sports. However, they may also be caused by repetitive activites or overuse. This type of repetitive injury is especially common in sports that involve throwing, swimming or lifting, but may also also occur in day-to-day life. Detachment lesions in the superior labrum, anterior to posterior (SLAP tears) are particularly common in overhead sports such as tennis or baseball. Symptoms of SLAP tears may include popping, catching or clicking within the shoulder, pain when reaching overhead or throwing, or simply a deep ache inside the should joint.
Treatment of labral tears or SLAP tears almost always initially consists of non-surgical, conservative measures such as physical therapy, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and rest. If the patient fails to improve with conservative measures, surgery may be used to repair the torn portion of the labrum. In arthroscopic labral repair, the torn labrum is sewn back to the edge of the glenoid socket using sutures.
Shoulder arthroscopy is generally an outpatient procedure. The averagepostoperative course involves 2-6 weeks in a shoulder sling to protect the work done on the shoulder. A sling may be required for 6 weeks if the shoulder's condition requires a more extensive surgery. Most patients begin physical therapy 2-6 weeks after surgery. Patient's return to work is extremely variable after their procedure, depending on their surgery and their work type. Athletes can expect to return to sports between 6 months and 1 year after surgery. High-level athletes participate in an intense physical therapy course after surgery, gradually increasing their workout intensity.