Shoulder Labrum Tear
An Overview Of Shoulder Labrum Tear
What Is Shoulder Labrum Tear?
The shoulder joint is a “ball and socket” joint that enables smooth gliding and thereby the movements of arms. However, it is inherently unstable because of the shallow socket. A soft rim of cartilage, the labrum, lines the socket and deepens it so that it accommodates the head of the upper arm bone better.
Causes Of Shoulder Labrum Tear
Traumatic injury to the shoulder or overuse of shoulder (throwing, weightlifting) may cause labral tear. In addition, ageing may weaken the labrum leading to injury.
Symptoms of Shoulder Labral Tear
Shoulder labral tear injury may cause symptoms such as:
- Catching or locking sensation
- Decreased range of motion
- Joint instability
Types of Shoulder Labral Tear
The most common types of labral tears include:
- SLAP tear: The term SLAP (superior–labrum anterior-posterior) refers to an injury of the superior labrum of the shoulder, at the attachment of the biceps tendon.
- Bankart tear: A Bankart tear is an injury to the labrum that leads to recurrent dislocations and arthritis of the shoulder.
- Posterior labrum tear: This type of labrum tear is rare, but may be caused by repeated internal impingement, where the extreme extension and external rotation of the shoulder joint causes pinching of the bulged part of the arm bone against the lining of the shoulder joint cavity.
Diagnosis of Shoulder Labral Tears
Your doctor may suspect a labral tear based on your symptoms and medical history. The doctor will inquire about your pain and history of injury. Several physical tests will be performed by your doctor to evaluate the range of motion and stability of your shoulder. X-rays may be used to rule out other conditions. Your doctor may also order a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, with a contrast medium, to determine the presence of tears. Diagnosis of a labral tear can also be confirmed through shoulder arthroscopy.
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