What are Labral Tears?
Labral tears of the shoulder involve the cartilaginous lining of the glenoid. The labrum helps given the shoulder stability and deepens the glenoid. Labral injuries may involve fraying or tears. This injury is common in athletes when exerting maximum effort throwing, but is also seen in patients who may experience painful catching with overhead activities. Labral tears are usually difficult to diagnose with physical exam alone. MR arthography is the best diagnostic test used to evaluate for labral tears. Initial treatment will usually be conservative and involve anti-inflammatory medications and a rehabilitation focused on strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles and periscapular stabilization. If conservative measures fail then the patient may be a candidate.