Labrum Repair Surgery

Labrum Repair Surgery

If you notice a popping sound each time you move your arm into different positions, you may have a torn labrum. Labrum repair surgery is an effective procedure for restoring movement and achieving full pain relief in the affected area.

Our team of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists is available to provide the best orthopedic services to residents of Bethesda, MD. Our specially trained physicians will help you discover if you need labrum repair surgery.


What Is the Labrum?

The labrum is a type of fibrocartilage or thick rubbery tissue found at the shoulder joint. This cartilage connects to the edge of the socket, where the ball of the shoulder joint fits into place. One of the main functions of the labrum is to form the cup-like shape of the shoulder socket, which permits free movement of the arm.

If this cartilage gets torn, a labral tear has occurred. Labral tears can occur due to injury. They’re common among people who use their arms frequently during sports or at work. Tears may also develop due to the regular wear that occurs with age.

Symptoms of a Torn Shoulder Labrum

If you have pain at your shoulder joint, it’s difficult to know whether you have a torn labrum without a professional diagnosis. However, the following signs indicate the possibility of a labrum tear:

  • Moving the arm over your head is painful
  • Participating in sports that need continuous arm movements such as baseball and softball is difficult
  • Feeling pain that seems to come from deep inside your shoulder
  • Carrying weight is uncomfortable due to shoulder weakness
  • Hearing clicking, popping or grinding sounds while moving your shoulder

Can a Torn Labrum Be Repaired?

Yes. A torn labrum can be repaired, but it requires thorough examination and diagnosis before a restorative surgery.

Diagnosis of a torn labrum requires imaging tests such as a Computer Tomography (CT) scan or MRI. To get an accurate diagnosis, you may need to go through shoulder arthroscopy. This procedure uses very tiny incisions and a camera to get a three-dimensional view of the shoulder socket.

How Is a Labrum Tear Repaired?

The type of treatment we recommend for each patient varies depending on the type of tear you have. For minor tears, small incisions and arthroscopic techniques may repair the labrum. However, tears involving dislocations may require an open operation with a larger incision.

A torn labrum is restored through labrum repair surgery. An orthopedic surgeon will perform a shoulder arthroscopy and use a minimally invasive procedure.

Labrum Repair Surgery Recovery Time

It takes about four to six weeks for the cartilage to reattach correctly to the rim of the bone and a subsequent period of about six weeks to regain full strength. That means it takes about three months for total healing. During the healing process, you must not put the shoulder under undue stress to avoid re-injuring the labrum.

What Happens If a Labral Tear Goes Untreated?

If a labral tear goes untreated, it can irritate the shoulder joint. It may lead to locking and jamming, giving a sensation that something is out of place in the joint. This could increase the friction inside the joint and the risk of arthritis at the shoulder.

Further Reading

The Ultimate Guide For Shoulder Recovery Surgery

Rotator Cuff Disorders: The Facts


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Contact Us at OrthoBethesda to Learn More About Labrum Repair Surgery

When you contact OrthoBethesda for labrum repair surgery, we’ll use the best diagnostic and surgical techniques. We care about you and want to get you back to your normal lifestyle as early as possible. Give us a call at (301) 530-1010 to book an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons.