Labral Tears and Shoulder Dislocations

Labral Tears and Shoulder Dislocations

The labrum is a soft fibrous cartilage structure that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint to help stabilize the humerus and keep it in the correct position. A dislocated shoulder occurs when the humeral head comes partially or entirely out of place. When this happens, the labrum can be torn away from the joint at various locations.

The ligaments and muscles that surround the joint can also be injured. Shoulder dislocations often occur due to a traumatic injury such as a fall, hit, or twisting position of the shoulder joint that causes it to dislocate. Once a dislocation occurs, it is much more likely to happen a second time due to stretching the ligaments that hold the joint in place.

Labral Tears and Shoulder Dislocations


  • Swelling, bruising, and deformity of the shoulder
  • Pain deep in the shoulder joint
  • Catching or clicking within the shoulder joint
  • Decreased mobility due to pain
  • Instability of the joint



It is common to have several tissues affected during a shoulder dislocation. Imaging is used to identify the extent of the dislocation and internal damage. This will help to rule out any fractures, muscle tearing, or ligament damage done within the joint.


Depending on the amount of damage, surgery can be performed to repair the damaged tissue. This often involves minimally invasive techniques to restore the proper function of the labrum and any ligaments that may have been damaged. Once surgery and healing are completed, physical therapy will be necessary to regain the shoulder joint’s mobility, strength, and function.