Glenoid Labrum Tear – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Conditions of the Shoulder


  • Joint lubrication injection (Viscosupplementation)
  • Knee arthroscopy
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Shoulder arthroscopy
  • Arthroscopic subacromial decompression
  • Acromioclavicular joint resection
  • Shoulder joint replacement

Glenoid Labrum Tear

The shoulder joint has three bones: the shoulder blade (scapula), the collarbone (clavicle), and the upper arm bone (humerus). The head of the upper arm bone (humeral head) rests in a shallow socket in the shoulder blade called the glenoid. The head of the upper arm bone is usually much larger than the socket, and a soft fibrous tissue rim called the labrum surrounds the socket to help stabilize the joint. The rim deepens the socket by up to 50% so that the head of the upper arm bone fits better. In addition, it serves as an attachment site for several ligaments.The glenoid labrum is injured by repetitive overhead throwing, lifting or catching heavy objects below shoulder height or falling onto an outstretched arm.

Common symptoms of glenoid labrum tear

    • Pain in the shoulder; cannot be localized to a specific point.
    • Pain worsens by doing overhead activities or when the arm is held behind the back.
    • Weakness and instability

Anti-inflammatory medication and rest helps to relieve symptoms. Rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles may also be recommended. Home remedies can also be done by resting and apply cold therapy to reduce pain and inflammation.

Unstable injuries will require surgery to re-attach the labrum to the glenoid. It is recommended to seek Dr Siow’s advise if the pain persists after long period of rest as it may worsen over time. Any underlying causes which contributed to the injury such as shoulder instability should be addressed.

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