Labral tear

A labral tear occurs if the labrum in the shoulder joint is damaged. It is important to note that the labrum is a connective tissue surrounding the socket of the shoulder joint.

The labrum can tear by:

  • Falling onto the arm
  • Dislocating the shoulder
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Forceful movement of the shoulder or arm
  • Using the arm to break a fall
  • Repetitive, overhead movement of the shoulder in certain sports

What are the signs?

Labral tear
Apply an ice pack on the site of injury at 20-minute sessions throughout the day.

The usual signs of a labral tear include:

  • Shoulder and arm pain
  • Weakness of the shoulder and arm
  • Overhead shoulder movements trigger pain
  • Clicking or grinding sensation or sounds when the shoulder is moved

Management of a labral tear

If an individual has a labral tear, the following measures must be followed:

  • Apply an ice pack on the site of injury at 20-minute sessions throughout the day.
  • An anti-inflammatory medication can be given and taken as instructed by the doctor.
  • Follow the suggested exercises by the doctor.

A serious case of a labral tear requires surgical intervention. If the labrum is torn, it can be fixed, or the torn sections are trimmed away. Any scar tissue that formed must be removed.

If the individual has a small-sized labral tear, he/she must avoid activities that can trigger shoulder pain instead of undergoing surgery.

The discomfort caused by a labral tear might last for some time. The pain might periodically settle but recur during certain shoulder movements. The symptoms can last until the torn labrum is repaired with surgery.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on a labral tear is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed by taking a standard first aid course with Victoria First Aid.

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