The shoulder joint is another ball and socket joint with the socket on the shoulder and the ball on the head of the humerus. However, the socket of the shoulder joint is very shallow making it hard for the head of the humerus to stay in place. With this, the shoulder joint is intrinsically unstable requiring more support from adjacent structures.
The labrum is a cuff of cartilage located in the shoulder joint to allow the humeral head to stay in place on the glenoid fossa (socket). When this band of cartilage is torn, there is a high probability that the humerus may go out of the socket and cause shoulder dislocation. Nevertheless, mild tear on the labrum may just cause significant pain and discomfort with inability to perform the numerous range of motion activities of the shoulder joint.
The labrum is undeniably an important part of the shoulder joint because it allows for the movement of the ball in the socket and be able to perform the most number of motions among all the joints in the body. So when you are experiencing labrum tear, it is essential to deal with it immediately to prevent further tear and possible shoulder dislocation.
Managements for Labrum Tear
If you suspect that you have a labrum tear after an overhead motion of the shoulder, it is important to seek medical consult in order to determine the presence of a labrum tear and its severity and be able to employ the most appropriate measures. In dealing with labrum tear, the severity of the injury is commonly taken into consideration and the extent of treatments is based on the extent of injury. The following are the general managements for the condition:
- Medication therapy
Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to relieve pain and inflammation. Common drugs used include ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy is also needed to aid the labrum to recover while employing exercises. Physical therapy aims at increasing the stability and the strength of the labrum and the shoulder joint. During exercises, the physical therapist will also analyze the motions that can intensify the pain and will help you avoid these motions for a pain-free movement.
Most labral tears do not need surgery, but for those who had severe tears or those that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be required. The surgical procedure done is an arthroscopic surgery involving the use of small cameras to view the shoulder joint while the surgery is being done. The surgery may employ the cutting or the complete removal of the torn labrum. The torn tissues are also sewn together.
Home Remedies for Labrum Tear
Along with the above managements, home remedies may also be employed to maximize the recovery of the injury. Rest is an important management at home because moving your affected shoulders may further lead to more severe tears. Overhead motions of the arm should be avoided. You may also use cold and hot packs to locally relieve pain.
After the recovery period, your next goal is to prevent the re-occurrence of the injury. In this line, proper conditioning or training is very essential to avoid injuring the cartilage on the shoulder joint.