There are many ways to injure your shoulder. If you are feeling a dull ache in your shoulder or your shoulder “catches” when rotated, you may have an injury to the labrum, a structure inside the shoulder joint. Dr. Ralph Venuto has extensive experience diagnosing and treating labral injuries, and can help you get back to your sport or other favorite activities quickly.
The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. However, this range of motion comes at a cost: because the joint is extremely shallow, it is also very unstable. The labrum is a cuff of cartilage that deepens the shoulder socket to provide additional support for the top of the arm bone. The labrum also serves as an attachment for shoulder ligaments and the tendon of the biceps muscle. An injury to these structures may cause the labrum to tear away from the bone to which it is anchored.
Call Dr. Venuto today at 949-759-3600 or send us an email if you would like to learn more about stem cell treatment in Orange County.
An Understanding of the Injury
Labrum tears generally occur as one of four types. First, there may be a tear or fraying within the substance of the labrum itself. Often, this type of tear is asymptomatic. More serious is the situation in which the labrum is completely torn from its anchoring bone, generally as the result of an acute trauma. This type of tear, known as a Bankart lesion, usually is associated with either a partial or total dislocation of the shoulder.
A tear may also occur where the biceps tendon attaches to the superior (upper) end of the shoulder socket. This is known as a SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior) tear or SLAP lesion, and most commonly affects athletes who make repeated overhead throwing motions, such as baseball pitchers and tennis players. The last type is known as a posterior labral repair, and involves a pinching of the rotator cuff and labrum in the back of the shoulder.
Signs of Injury
Dr. Venuto will consider some of the following signs along with performing diagnostic tests to understand the full extent of your injury.
- Aching Sensation: An aching sensation in the shoulder joint may be a sign of one of several injuries or conditions in the shoulder, including a labral tear.
- Catching of the Shoulder: As you rotate the shoulder, you will notice it sticking in a certain place or places.
- Pain with Specific Activities: The pain will often be worse when you try to lift or move your arm over your head.
Choosing Dr. Venuto
Here are just a few reasons why so many people choose Orange County orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ralph Venuto for their care.
- Board-certified in orthopedic surgery and specializing in sports medicine and the treatment of knee and shoulder disorders.
- One of the first surgeons in the country to perform arthroscopic surgery, without adding trauma or scarring.
- Named one of the “Best Doctors in Orange County” in Orange Coast Magazine’s “The Doctor’s Doctor.”
A physical exam alone will rarely diagnose a labral tear, since the labrum is found deep inside the shoulder joint. Dr. Venuto has several other diagnostic methods he can use. Most commonly, he may order an MRI to visualize a labrum tear, using the results of the test in conjunction with the patient’s medical history and physical symptoms. Even with an MRI, a labrum tear may be difficult to diagnose (this is particularly true in the case of SLAP lesions). As a result, in some cases Dr. Venuto may perform arthroscopy of the shoulder in order to determine the cause of the symptoms.
A labrum that is frayed or internally torn generally will not require surgery. Dr. Venuto does perform arthroscopic surgery for more extensive tears where patients have persistent symptoms such as pain or instability of the shoulder. Repair of the labrum may stop recurrent dislocations from occurring.
After most labrum surgeries, the labrum will need a total of eight to twelve weeks to re-attach to the rim of the bone and gradually strengthen. Total recovery time will depend on such factors as the location of the tear, the extent of correction needed, and the types of activities a patient seeks to perform after surgery. Most patients will enjoy full shoulder function after Dr. Venuto’s labrum repair, and can return to their sport with few or no restrictions.
Get the help you need now.
Call Dr. Venuto at 949-759-3600 or SEND US AN EMAIL to schedule your appointment.
Pay Attention to Early Warning Signs…
At his orthopedic practice in Newport Beach serving Costa Mesa, Irvine, and all of Orange County, Dr. Venuto sees patients almost every day who are living with various orthopedic conditions of the knee or shoulder. Paying attention to early warning signs can help lead to earlier treatment, which itself may minimize the pain and disability associated with your condition.
Call Dr. Venuto today at 949-759-3600 or send us an email to schedule your visit.