What is a Shoulder Labral Tear?

What is a labral tear of the shoulderImage of a man with a shoulder Labral Tear

What Kind of Surgery did Trevor Lawrence Have?

The quick answer as reported by the media is that Trevor Lawrence had a Shoulder Labrum Repair on his Left Shoulder. Trevor Lawrence finished his college football career at Clemson with a 34 - 2 record as the starting quarterback.  But, he has been dealing with an injury in his non-throwing shoulder for the past several years.  

Trevor Lawrence is anticipated to be the number 1 draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.  This has most of the Jacksonville Jaguars' fan base watching closely, as they have the First Round Draft Pick and the Jag have their eye on Lawrence. 

Lawrence's surgery has been timed to allow him 4 to 6 months to recover and be ready for the 2021 NFL season.  

To learn about shoulder labral tears and Repair surgery, read on or watch this Video on Shoulder Labral Tears.

What is The Shoulder Labrum?

The quick answer is the Shoulder Labrum, or Glenoid Labrum is a piece of cartilage in the shoulder.  The shoulder is a ball and socket joint.  But the socket is really shallow.  This allows for a large range of movements.  The shallow socket can also permit excessive sliding and gliding of the ball in the socket.  The labrum is a piece of cartilage that is shaped like an "O-ring".  It adds depth to the socket and gives more stability to the shoulder.  

Trevor Lawrence is having a shoulder labrum surgery.  A shoulder labral repair is surgery to re-attach the labral cartilage to the bone of the shoulder socket. Shoulder labrum 

What is a Shoulder Labral Tear?

The quick answer is a labral tear occurs when the labrum frays (unravels or wears thin) or separates from the socket of the scapula or the end of the humerus. A labral tear can sometimes develop over time as a result of overuse or repetitive movements.  

A labral tear can also occur as a result of an injury.  Some common types of injuries to the shoulder that could result in a labral tear include, but are not limited to 

  • falling on an outstretched arm
  • shoulder dislocation
  • forceful pull on the arm
  • direct blow 
  • car accidents
  • chronic shoulder subluxation
  • normal wear and tear of the aging process.  


Symptoms of a Shoulder Labral Tear                          

A labral tear doesn’t usually hurt all the time. Pain occurs when you use your shoulder, especially during activities involving the movement of your arm above your head. 

Symptoms of a shoulder labral tear may include:

  • Deep achy feeling in the back of your shoulder
  • Popping, clicking or grinding sensation in your shoulder
  • Weak feeling during exercise, like your shoulder is going to pop out of place.
  • Loss of strength
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Difficulty lifting the arm overhead


Treatment of a Shoulder Labral Tear

Shoulder labral tears can be treated without surgery sometimes.  Physical therapy can strengthen the muscle and increase joint stability. Shoulder physical therapyLabral tears do not always require surgery. If the labrum is merely frayed, stopping the activity that initiated the pain and use of anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and swelling, followed by specific exercises or physical therapy to build the muscles back up may be sufficient.  

If the labrum has separated from the bone, surgery is usually required to anchor the cartilage back to the bone in the socket.  Arthroscopic surgery is used whenever possible to minimize swelling and discomfort so the healing and recovery processes may begin sooner.  

The severity of the labral tear determines whether surgical treatment is necessary to successfully repair the damage.


What Is a Shoulder Labral Repair?

A shoulder labral repair is typically performed with arthroscopy.  Shoulder Labral Repair Surgery

The quick answer is a shoulder labral repair is a procedure that reattaches the labral cartilage in the shoulder to the bone.  Shoulder labrum surgery is typically performed using arthroscopy.  This is a minimally invasive method used by orthopedic surgeons.  

The surgeon makes a few small incisions.  They are able to insert a camera to visualize the torn labrum and surgical tools to allow them to perform the repair. 


Recovery After a Shoulder Labrum Repair Surgery

The type and severity of a labral tear determine what you can expect during recovery.  

  • Use of a sling for shoulder labral injuries and crutches for hip labral injuries for a few weeks to minimize use of the shoulder or hip as it begins to heal, often with mild exercise at first to minimize stiffness and muscle loss
  • Gradual addition of exercises to regain mobility and strengthen the shoulder
  • Throwing and moderate impact activities can be resumed with slow progression 3-4 months after the surgery

Most patients regain complete use of the shoulder with full recovery about 4 to 6 months following surgery to repair a shoulder labral tear.

To Learn how to wear a sling properly, this VIDEO can help.

Shoulder Labral Tear Doctors in Jacksonville, FL

If you think you have a shoulder labral tear, you should be properly evaluated by a shoulder orthopedic specialist.  The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute has been voted the Top Orthopedic Practice by Bold City Best for the past 6 years.  We are experts in treating shoulder labral injuries and getting you back to the top of your game. 

To schedule an appointment with a JOI Orthopaedic Shoulder Specialist, please call JOI-2000, schedule online or click below.

By: Michelle Duclos ATC

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