A fall on an outstretched arm, a dislocated shoulder or a direct blow to your shoulder could cause a significant injury to the ball and socket joint. A labral tear is possible with any of these scenarios. It could also happen if you fail to lift heavy objects correctly. Trauma to the shoulder often results in a labral tear.
Two Types of Labral Tears
Your shoulder joint is a ball and socket structure lined with cartilage. This rubbery substance called the labrum allows your joint to function smoothly. If it is damaged, it affects the movement and can be quite painful.
There are two main types of tears that can occur with the labrum, Bankart and SLAP. Bankart tears are more common among adolescents. A dislocated shoulder can lead to this type of tear. The humerus bone pops out of the socket and tears the labrum. This damage causes the shoulder to become less stable. Without adequate treatment, there is an increased risk of future dislocations. Teens participating in contact sports are particularly susceptible to this type of injury.
The second type of tear is the SLAP tear. SLAP is an acronym for superior labrum anterior and posterior. In this injury, the upper part of the labrum that attaches to the biceps tendon is torn in the front, or anterior, and the back, or posterior.
This injury to the labrum can be caused by overworking the shoulder. Repetitive motion with lifting objects overhead is an example. Weightlifters need to be aware of this type of tear.
When you fall, your natural instinct is to stretch your arm out, and the impact on that arm can result in a SLAP tear. Any motion that pulls hard on your arm can also cause this type of injury.
Labral tears are also caused by wear and tear. It is not unusual for a person over the age of 40 to experience a labral tear. The cartilage in the shoulder socket can break down and wear out with age.
Healing the Labral Tear
The pain and swelling of a labral tear can be addressed with anti-inflammatory drugs. When the pain is managed, physical therapy may be recommended to help regain muscle strength. Surgery is a last resort in these types of injuries, and even then, minimally invasive surgery is the first choice.
If you experience shoulder pain, especially after a fall or injury, contact Sovereign Rehabilitation and schedule an appointment for a consultation. We make life feel better.
Posted on behalf of Sovereign Rehabilitation
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Suite 225
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 835-3340