Shoulder Labrum Tears

The labrum of the shoulder is a soft cartilage structure that attaches at the rim/margin of the glenoid cavity (socket) of the blade of the shoulder and connects the head of the humerus and the socket. Rotator cuff (muscles and tendons) supports the labrum to keep head of the humerus in the socket.

Labral tears can cause pain in the shoulder and you can feel instability during the shoulder movements.

Types of tear

  • SLAP lesion or SLAP tear: SLAP (superior labrum anterior-posterior), labrum got torn at the upper portion from both sides (front and back) where it attaches with the biceps tendon. Baseball and tennis players most commonly affected by this. It may also occur in persons with damaged biceps tendon
  • Bankart lesion or tear: The tear of labrum of shoulder at the bottom of the socket of the shoulder is known as Bankart lesion
  • Posterior labrum tear: An injury of the shoulder from the back is called posterior labrum tear. This type of tear is rare


  • Any injury or trauma to joint of the shoulder
  • Repetitive shoulder movement or overuse injury
  • Fall on an outstretched shoulder (arm)
  • Direct hit on shoulder joint
  • Sudden Tug or pull on arm
  • Wear and tear damage


  • Painful condition that causes pain in the shoulder joint
  • Catching sensation
  • You can also feel locking in the shoulder joint
  • You can feel a pop sound when you move your arm
  • You may feel a grinding in the joint during movement
  • Your shoulder becomes unstable or you feel instability
  • Range of movement compromised
  • You feel weakness in your arm


  • Your doctor will perform physical examination and check for the joint movement and range of movements, will ask about your history and symptoms
  • Your doctor can suggest an X-ray to check for any bone injury
  • MRI and CT scan are more specific investigation to diagnose the labral tears


  • Give rest to your shoulder
  • Take medications to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Physiotherapy exercises: To strengthen your shoulder muscle, muscle strengthening will help to make your shoulder stable
  • Treatment is usually surgery
  • Arthroscopy helps in repairing
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