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Health and Fitness

What Is a Shoulder Tear?

The shoulder is constructed of a ball and socket joint. The joint interlocks with the socket to keep the shoulder stable. This allows the shoulders to move without falling out of the socket. However, the shoulder does need extra support. It’s gets this extra support from the labrum. The labrum is simply cartilage that assists the shoulder in moving properly. A labrum tear can cause severe problems such as a person’s inability to move their shoulder.

What Is the Cause of a Torn Shoulder Labrum?

The labrum, or cartilage, is made of a thick type of tissue. This tissue is susceptible to trauma. Thus, the cause can be something severe such as a tear because of a sudden injury.
It could also occur because of sudden traction of the arm or a forceful compression of the shoulder. Another cause is repetitive motion. For example, an athlete could develop a tear in labrum because of repeatedly throwing a ball.

Common Types of Tears in the Labrum

There are three types of shoulder tears common to the labrum. The most common is called an SLAP tear. This type of tear occurs when an individual throws an object over their head such as a baseball. Another type of tear is called the Bankart tear. It happens when the shoulder dislocates or leaves the joint.

The last type of tear in the labrum is called a posterior labral tear. It does not occur as much as the other types of shoulder tears. However, athletes usually develop this injury when the labrum and rotator cuff pinch together.

Three Symptoms Are Associated with a Torn Labrum

The exact symptoms of a labral tear depend on its location in the shoulder. However, symptoms generally include:

  1. A person’s shoulder catches, or stops, when in movement
    2. There’s an aching sensation in a person’s shoulder joint
    3. A person feels pain with specific activitiesDiagnosing a Torn Shoulder LabrumA diagnosis of a torn labrum begins with an examination such as an imaging test. The doctor looks for any abnormalities in the shoulder such as a tear or labral damage. Once the doctor confirms there is a tear in the shoulder, they can determine the best way to treat the injury.

    Treatment for a Torn Labrum Depends on the Severity of the Injury

    Treating a torn shoulder labrum depends on the seriousness of the injury. Most tears to the labrum do not require surgery. However, if the tear is too severe or if conservative treatments do not work, surgery may be required.

A person’s labrum is just like vehicle tires. When a person’s drives a lot, the tires wear down. The same thing happens with a person’s labrum. The more a person uses their shoulder, the more their labrum is used. This makes the area susceptible to overuse and injury. It’s important to speak with a shoulder specialist about this tear in the should and seek immediate medical attention.

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