Labral Tear of the Shoulder and Hip

What is the Labrum?

The labrum is a ring-like structure found in the shoulder and hip made of soft cartilage. It is located on the socket side of the ball and socket joint. It functions to provide a seal around the joint to help maintain the joint’s proper position and lend stability.

What is a Hip/Shoulder Labral Tear?

Labrum tears in the shoulder and hip tend to cause pain deep within the joint, and it may be hard to pinpoint where the pain originates. They can cause sharp pinching pain or pop with particular rotation and movement of the arm or leg. The pain tends to occur quickly by a specific movement, is of moderate severity, and then quickly resolves with rest.

Patients usually experience stiffness in addition to pain, and treatment involves both surgical and non-surgical options. Some patients hear a clicking sound with movement. Stiffness and pain can worsen with bending, rotating, or with exercise. Other patients can feel off-balance or unsteady on their feet.

Still, other patients notice no symptoms at all, and a tear is diagnosed when a scan is completed to rule out another issue or ailment.

What are the Causes of a Labral Tear?

Labrum tears commonly tend to occur in one of two ways. They can result from trauma or an accident, particularly an impact type injury or dislocation of the shoulder or hip. This type of tear is an acute or traumatic tear.

The labrum can also tear slowly over time with repetitive activities and overall aging. This type of tear is called a degenerative tear. This is often seen in patients with conditions such as osteoarthritis.

What are the Complications?

Once a tear is present within the labrum, whether traumatic or degenerative, the tear tends to progress over time and can become more extensive. Although some tears become asymptomatic and the frequency and severity of symptoms become less, they remain torn.

The labrum does not typically heal itself. When a tear of the labrum is present, depending on the tear’s size and location, further damage can be done to the joint by leaving it untreated, particularly acceleration of osteoarthritis or additional dislocations of the shoulder.

How is a Labral Tear Diagnosed?

A hip specialist or shoulder surgeon in Miami can diagnose a labral tear through a physical examination. You will be asked to do a series of movements and the doctor will note any pain or limitations.

They also might order imaging to diagnose a labral tear. This can include an X-Ray or an MRI.

When to see a Hip Specialist in Miami?

If you have pain deep within your shoulder or hip area that is not improving with rest, lasting more than two weeks and interfering with your daily activities, you should see your doctor for further evaluation.

How do doctors treat a Labral Tear?

Usually, doctors will try conservative treatment options first. These would include non-surgical options such as:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication

Physical therapy

Steroid injections

If these methods fail, then they will likely recommend consulting for hip arthroscopy in Miami or, if the shoulder is affected, consulting with a shoulder surgeon in Miami for your labral tear.

What is the outlook of Hip Arthroscopy and Shoulder Surgery for a Labral Tear?

The repair is completed by arthroscopy, and the outlook is fantastic. Most patients find relief of pain and recovery of their hip or shoulder function within six months of the procedure. Usually, patients can return to an improved way of life once they recover from their surgery.

If You are Experiencing Hip or Shoulder Pain, Schedule an Appointment one of our Hip and Shoulder Specialists at South Florida Orthopedics

Though hip and shoulder pain is not considered life-threatening, it can make your life uncomfortable. You do not have to suffer, and our specialists can correctly diagnose a labral tear of the shoulder or hip so you can start treatment right away.

If you would like more information, do not hesitate to contact us or schedule an appointment.

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