Glenoid Labrum Tear Symptoms, Treatment and Surgery

Glenoid Labrum Tear Symptoms, Treatment and Surgery, TPL Orthopedics and Sports MedicineThe glenoid labrum is a fibrous ring of tissue that is attached to the rim of the glenoid which is the shallow depression of the scapula or shoulder blade where the ball of the humerus or arm bone sits. The glenoid labrum increases the depth of the shoulder cavity, which helps improve the stability of the shoulder joint.

The glenohumeral ligaments, which secure the upper arm to the shoulder and shoulder capsule, attach to the glenoid labrum. If a tear in the glenoid labrum occurs due to an injury or repetitive use, it must be treated in a timely manner to prevent worsening of the injury.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute provide treatments for glenoid labrum tear to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and other neighborhoods and communities in this part of southwest.


Nature of Injury

The glenoid labrum tears typically occur due to repetitive overhead throwing, lifting or catching heavy objects below shoulder level. This injury may also occur when a person falls onto an outstretched arm. These tears can be categorized as either superior, towards to the upper end of the glenoid socket, or inferor towards to the lower end of the socket.

A superior injury is known as a SLAP lesion (superior labrum, anterior to posterior). It involves a tear of the rim above the middle of the socket that may also involve the biceps tendon.

A tear of the rim beneath the middle of the glenoid socket is called a Bankart lesion, which also involves the inferior glenohumeral ligament. In many cases, glenoid labrum tears may occur with other shoulder injuries, such as a shoulder dislocation.



Symptoms of a glenoid labrum tear include pain in the shoulder that is not localized to a particular point. Overhead activities tend to worsen this pain. If the arm is held behind the back, it may increase the pain.

Many patients will complain of instability and weakness in the shoulder with specific tenderness above the front of the shoulder. Pain may be reproduced on resisted flexion of the biceps or bending the elbow against resistance



PRICE therapy is the first line of treatment for glenoid labrum injuries. The patient should give adequate rest to the injured site, and apply ice therapy to improve pain and inflammation. It is important to see an orthopedic surgeon, who may prescribe NSAIDs such as ibuprofen after assessing the patient’s condition as well as their health factors.

Most patients will require a comprehensive and gradual rehabilitation program to restore full function. It is important address any underlying causes that may have contributed to the injury, such as shoulder instability.



If the injury is severe, causing instability, a surgery may have to be performed to restore full shoulder health. The surgery will aim to re-attach the labrum to the glenoid. Surgery is often necessary in case of Bankart lesions.

Following the surgery, the shoulder will have to be placed in a sling for about a month. Percipient, wonderful, and board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and other suburbs and cities in this region of the nation for shoulder injuries.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.

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