Columbus Shoulder Surgery & Sports Medicine
Robert Lewis, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon located in Columbus, GA
If your shoulder is frequently dislocating or feeling unstable inside the joint, a torn labrum may be the culprit. Robert Lewis, MD, at Columbus Shoulder Surgery & Sports Medicine in Columbus, Georgia, is a skilled orthopaedic surgeon who practices the most advanced techniques in arthroscopic labral tear repair. If shoulder problems are keeping you from working or from playing the sports you love, call or click online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lewis today.
What is a labrum tear?
Your shoulder is the most movable joint in your body, and the labrum is a key part of what keeps it in place. Imagine your shoulder joint as a golf ball on a tee. The ball is where your upper arm bone (humerus) fits into the shoulder socket, and your shoulder labrum is like the ring around the tee that keeps the ball from falling to the side.
Unlike a golf tee, however, your labrum is made of soft, fibrous tissue and deepens your shoulder socket by up to 50%. This tissue is vulnerable to a host of injuries, including these common labral tears:
- SLAP (superior labrum from anterior to posterior) tears
- Bankart lesions
- Posterior labral tears
What does a labrum tear feel like?
Symptoms of a labrum tear are similar to other shoulder injuries. It’s common to feel pain only when you move your injured shoulder in certain ways. Signs of a torn labrum include:
- Locking, popping, or grinding sensation
- Shoulder instability or dislocations
- Pain when lifting your arms over your head
- Decreased range of motion
- Shoulder weakness
- Difficulty sleeping on an injured shoulder
How do you tear your shoulder labrum?
You can tear your labrum suddenly, as from an accident, or gradually over time. Common causes of labrum tears include:
- Falling on an outstretched arm
- Repetitive overhead motions
- Trauma to your shoulder
- Lifting a heavy object with a jerking motion
How does an orthopaedic surgeon diagnose and treat labrum tears?
First, Dr. Lewis performs a physical exam and reviews your symptoms. He may use imaging tests, such as an X-ray, and ask you to move your arms in different directions.
After diagnosing your labrum tear, Dr. Lewis discusses the best treatment options. Typically, the first line of treatment for a labrum tear is physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicine.
If your symptoms don’t improve, he may suggest minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Lewis treats labrum tears with the following arthroscopic procedures:
- Arthroscopic labral tear repair
- Arthroscopic SLAP repair
- Arthroscopic Bankart repair
- Arthroscopic posterior labral repair
- Arthroscopic subcoracoid decompression
If you’re experiencing signs of a torn labrum and want to get back to your normal activities, call Columbus Shoulder Surgery & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today.