Glenoid Labrum Tear

The shoulder is a typical ball and socket joint where the humerus (rounded part of the upper arm bone) rests in the socket called glenoid. The humerus is much larger than the socket and a layer of soft tissue called labrum lines the inner part of the socket which creates additional space for the humerus to fit in, which helps in keeping the joint stable. Many ligaments join the bone and muscles within this socket. Tearing of this soft tissue lining is termed as the Glenoid Labrum Tear. Such tears mostly occur above or below the middle section of the labrum. In some cases, they may be accompanied by tendon and ligament damage as well.


  • Sudden fall on the shoulder, arm and hand
  • Direct trauma to the shoulder or upper arm
  • Lifting heavy object
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Age related wear and tear of the cartilage
  • Sports injuries


  • Pain usually occurs when the arm is moved above the head
  • Swelling and tenderness in the shoulder or upper arm
  • A locking/catching kind of feeling in the shoulder
  • Grinding or popping sound or feeling when the shoulder is moved
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Weak or unstable shoulder
  • A constant feeing of the shoulder slipping out


  • Physical evaluation of the injured shoulder to assess its functioning and stability
  • The patient’s medical history and details of the injury may be taken into consideration
  • X-ray imaging to check for bone damage or displacement
  • CT scan and MRI may help to diagnose soft tissue damage
  • In some cases a contrast medium may be injected to reveal the location of damage


  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines for pain relief
  • Rest the injured joint
  • Certain exercises may help to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles
  • The orthopedic surgeon may use arthroscopic techniques to repair or remove the torn labrum
  • Surgical tightening of the labrum tissues
  • The arm and shoulder are cast in a sling post-surgery for stability after the surgery for a few weeks
  • Gentle range of motion exercises are helpful post-surgery to regain flexibility and movement

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