Do Labral Tears Require Surgery?

Once again is critical to keep this in mind. Physicians should endeavor to treat patients and not their MRI findings. A recent article in the New York Times show that nearly 90% of professional athletic had MRI findings consistent with tears or other problems in their shoulder, despite the fact that they had absolutely no pain. Therefore, it is of critical importance that the history or story that you give your physician about the pain that you’re experiencing matches the findings on your physical examination and your physician feels that your labral tear is the possible source of your pain. I will tell you quite clearly, in many, many people, the source of your shoulder pain is not your labral tear. Labral tears typically produce mechanical symptoms. That can include catching, popping (not simple clicking),  pain during certain overhead activities such as pitching or volleyball and labrum tears can produce events such as a shoulder dislocation. Those are very clear signs and symptoms of a labral tear which is producing a problem in your shoulder. If you are 45 to 70 years old. You have a 90% chance that your labrum in your shoulder is torn or wearing out, and in the vast majority of circumstances your labral tear is not the source of your pain.

Visit my more detailed post on labral tears of the shoulder for more information.

View my video discussion on Labral Tears. 



Disclaimer:  this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.

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About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.