The labrum is a piece of tissue in the shoulder that has the important job of stabilizing the shoulder and keeping the ball of the joint in place. When the labrum tears, whether it’s due to a sports injury or overuse, it can result in the shoulder becoming partially or totally dislocated. In many cases, labrum tears can be healed through non-surgical methods such as rest, medication, and physical therapy. If symptoms do not resolve, however, labrum repair surgery may be needed.
A labrum tear can cause the following symptoms:
- – A popping, catching, or clicking sensation in the shoulder upon movement
- – A feeling of looseness in the shoulder
- – Mild-to-severe shoulder pain and aching
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a skilled orthopedic doctor.
For smaller labrum tears, shoulder arthroscopy is generally sufficient to repair the issue. In this minimally invasive procedure, the orthopedic surgeon inserts a small camera into the shoulder and projects the image onto a monitor so that the labrum tear can be clearly seen. The surgeon may remove it or repair it using anchors, depending on the nature of the tear. For larger labrum tears, open surgery may be prescribed. However, this procedure is rarely used anymore. This is because arthroscopic techniques have become advanced enough to solve the majority of shoulder issues.
Labrum Repair Recovery: What to Expect After Surgery
If you’re considering labrum repair surgery, it’s important to know what to anticipate in terms of recovery. Your recovery time and post-procedure pain level will largely depend on which type of labrum repair surgery you undergo. Shoulder arthroscopy patients almost always recover more quickly and with less pain than open shoulder surgery recipients.
After undergoing either type of shoulder surgery, patients are usually instructed to wear a sling for approximately one month after the procedure to help the shoulder heal properly and protect it from reinjury. Following this period, the patient will be expected to attend weekly physical therapy sessions to restore mobility in their shoulder. In most cases, athletes are able to return to their sport four to six months after labrum repair surgery, but it can take up to a year for some patients to achieve full labrum repair recovery.
Choose Dr. Soffer for Expert Shoulder Care
If you’re wondering whether you may be a candidate for labrum repair surgery, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stephen R. Soffer. His extensive experience with this procedure has allowed him to become a Master Instructor in shoulder arthroscopy for the Arthroscopy Association of North America, teaching other surgeons how to do this operation.
To set up a time to meet with Dr. Soffer, call 610-375-4949. We look forward to offering you the treatment you need to heal your shoulder.