Shoulder Labral Tears

WHAT IS THE LABRUM? It is a fibrocartilaginous ‘rubbery’ tissue structure which acts to deepen the glenoid cavity to give greater stability for the shoulder.


HOW DOES ONE TEAR THEIR LABRUM? ACUTE TRAUMA: fall on outstretched hand, traction injury, shoulder hyperextension, heavy lifting or a direct blow to the shoulder. REPETITIVE TRAUMA: overhead loading or throwing activities (baseball, tennis or basketball players!!) TYPES OF LABRAL TEARS: SLAP LESION > this is a tear sustained to the superior (upper) portion of the labrum usually involving the biceps tendon. BANKART LESION > is a tear sustained to the inferior (bottom) portion of the labrum below, usually involving the inferior glenohumeral ligament. WHAT WILL I EXPERIENCE IF I HAVE TORN MY LABRUM? Following a labral tear, you may experience any of the following symptoms:

1) Pain with general shoulder movement (especially overhead activities)

2) Occasional night pain

3) Catching, grinding or even locking,

4) Loss of strength & ROM,

5) Feelings of general shoulder instability. WHAT SHOULD I DO? TALK TO YOUR PHYSIOTHERAPIST! Depending on whether it is an acute or repetitive trauma injury, you need to undergo a rehabilitation program with the aim of restoring range of motion, stability & strength as early as possible to avoid exacerbating the injury and therefore potentially the need for surgery down the track!

Our caring and friendly Chatswood or North Sydney Physio Team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions!

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