If your physician has recommended labral tear shoulder surgery, you probably have many questions. …
“Do I really need shoulder surgery for this, or will it go away on its own? How long will it take me to recover? Will I need physical therapy afterward?”
Every body is different, so you should speak with your physician one-on-one for the most appropriate answers in your particular case. In the meantime, however, following are general answers to some of the most common questions about labral tear shoulder surgery.
What does labrum mean? What is a labral tear?
There are two types of cartilage in the shoulder joint:
- The white cartilage on the ends of the bones is known as articular cartilage.
- The more fibrous, rigid cartilage that circles around the socket side of each shoulder is known as labrum.
A labral tear generally occurs due to injury or overuse. The labrum can tear in a few different ways and in a few different locations:
- The labrum can tear completely off the bone.
- The tear may occur at the edge of the labrum.
- The tear may occur where the bicep tendon attaches to the area.
What happens during shoulder surgery for a labral tear?
What you can expect during labral tear shoulder surgery will differ depending on if you undergo traditional surgery or a minimally invasive procedure. Because we focus on minimally invasive surgeries at our Troy center, we’ll discuss that process for now.
During a minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy, the internal structure of the shoulder is viewed, examined, and treated using a tube-like viewing instrument called an arthroscope. The surgeon would insert this camera through a tiny incision in your skin, and the camera would take pictures of your shoulder that can be viewed on a video screen. The surgeon would then use small surgical instruments and the images on this monitor to repair the tear.
During the procedure, the surgeon would clean up any damaged tissue, prepare the bone of the socket, and/or reattach the labrum to the bone, depending on the type and extent of your injury. Reattaching the labrum may require the use of special implants called suture anchors.
Could I have prevented this?
Generally strengthening your muscles and increasing flexibility and endurance can protect your body in many different ways. However, in most cases, a labral tear is due to trauma, injury, or overuse, such as when playing sports.
How long will it take me to recover?
Patients who have surgery at UnaSource return home the same day. Anesthesia will be used, so you will need someone to drive you home. You also should have someone stay with you until the anesthesia wears off. This can take up to 24 hours, but the anesthetic is likely to leave your body sooner.
After the surgery, your shoulder will need to be immobilized in a sling for four to six weeks, but you can remove it take showers and get dressed.
Will I feel pain after the surgery? What kind of pain relief medications will I need to take?
UnaSource Surgery Center is a firm believer in reducing dependence on narcotics for pain relief. For that reason, we offer a narcotic-free pain relief pump, known as AmbIT.
Learn more about how the AmbIT pain relief pump works and watch a video in our blog.
Will I need physical therapy?
You may need physical therapy to regain proper motion in your shoulders and to strengthen your muscles. This physical therapy may be recommended soon after the surgery, or it may begin some time later. Every patient’s recovery process will be different, so speak with the therapist one-on-one for exercise tips, remedies, and home care.
Ask us for recommendations for physical therapists or sports medicine specialists in the southeast Michigan area.
UnaSource Surgery Center’s orthopedic doctors serve Oakland County and surrounding areas, and they perform hundreds of these procedures each year. If you believe you may need shoulder surgery for a labral tear, reach out to one of them for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options today!