Shoulder Labrum Reconstruction

Conservative Treatment of Shoulder Labral Tears

Your doctor may start with conservative approaches such as prescribing anti-inflammatory medications and advise rest to relieve symptoms. Rehabilitation exercises may be recommended to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. If the symptoms do not resolve with these conservative measures, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery.

Surgical Treatment of Shoulder Labral Tears

During arthroscopic surgery for SLAP tears, your surgeon examines the labrum and the biceps tendon. If the damage is confined to the labrum without involving the tendon, then the torn flap of the labrum will be removed. In cases where the tendon is also involved or if there is detachment of the tendon, absorbable wires or sutures will be used to repair and reattach the tendon.

Bankart lesion is repaired by a Bankart operation. In this procedure, the Bankart tear is repaired by reattaching the labrum and the capsule to the anterior margin of the glenoid cavity. Your surgeon makes a few small incisions around the joint. Through one incision, an arthroscope is inserted into the shoulder to visualise the inside of the shoulder joint. Other surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions to re-attach the labrum to the glenoid with the help of sutures or anchoring devices. The arthroscope and surgical instruments are removed, and the incisions are closed.

Postoperative Care for Shoulder Labrum Reconstruction

Following the surgery, your shoulder is immobilised with a sling for a few days. To control pain and swelling, your physical therapist may use ice, electrical stimulation, massage therapy, and other hands-on treatments. Passive range of motion exercises are also initiated in the post-operative phase. Active range of motion exercises is started about 6 weeks after the repair, to regain your shoulder movement. Athletes can return to sports in about three months.

Risks and Complications of Shoulder Labrum Reconstruction

The risks associated with a labral reconstruction include:

  • Nerve injury
  • Wound infection
  • Tear of the repair
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Recurrence of instability
  • Poor positioning of anchor suture
  • Failure of the repair

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Mr Fahad Attar

Mr Fahad Attar

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