A glenoid labrum tear is known to cause shoulder pain that could not be localized to a specific spot. The glenoid labrum is a stringy tissue ring that links to the border of the glenoid hollow of the shoulder blade in which the ball of the arm bone rests. It can be damaged by monotonous overhead throwing, falling onto an extended arm and lifting or catching heavy objects beneath the shoulder level.
The injuries can be categorized as superior which is towards the upper part of the glenoid socket or inferior which is towards the base of the glenoid socket. When it comes to superior injuries, it is called as a SLAP lesion. If there is a rip beneath the center of the glenoid socket, it is called as Bankart lesion. It is important to note that a glenoid labrum tear might arise with other injuries to the shoulder such as a dislocated shoulder.
What are the indications?
- Shoulder pain that could not be localized
- Pain is aggravated during overhead activities or when the arm is held behind the back
- Shoulder weakness and instability with a specific site of tenderness on front of the shoulder
- Pain is triggered during resisted flexion of the biceps or flexing the elbow against resistance
Adequate rest and cold therapy are useful in reducing the pain and inflammation. The doctor might prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. A rehabilitation program is useful in restoring full function.
For injuries that are unstable, surgical repair is necessary to reconnect the labrum to the glenoid. A Bankart lesion also requires surgery. Remember that any underlying reasons that contributed to the injury such as shoulder instability must be dealt with.
After surgery of a glenoid labrum tear, the shoulder is placed under a sling for 3-4 weeks. After 6 weeks, sports-specific training can be started but full fitness might take 3-4 months to be restored.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on glenoid labrum tear is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage shoulder joint injuries and conditions by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.