Shoulder Labral Tear

(Glenoid Labrum Tear; Labral Tear, Shoulder)

Definition

A shoulder labral tear is tear of the labrum. The labrum is the tissue that holds the end of the arm bone, known as the humerus, in place.
Shoulder Joint
Shoulder joint repair
The tool and arrow point to the cartilage of the glenoid.
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Causes

Shoulder labral tears occur from an injury or through long-term wear and tear. Common causes include the following:

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of a labral tear include:
  • Participation in certain sports, such as:
    • Baseball pitchers
    • Golf
    • Weightlifting
    • Tennis
  • Falling onto your shoulder
  • Repetitive movements of the shoulder
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Breaking a fall with your arms
  • Direct blow to the shoulder

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
  • Shoulder and/or arm pain
  • Catching or loosening feeling of the shoulder
  • Loss of shoulder range of motion
  • Weakness to shoulder and/or arm
  • Pain with shoulder movement
  • Popping or grinding sensation
  • Achiness of the shoulder

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Imaging tests to evaluate the shoulder and surrounding structures may include:

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