Last week, star Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin was sidelined with an apparent shoulder injury. Martin injured his shoulder while attempting to catch a pass in the middle of the 3rd quarter during a game against the Atlanta Falcons. Early X-rays were negative for a shoulder separation, but later tests revealed he had a labral tear. Martin hopes to forgo season-ending surgery for the time being and instead, try to strengthen his shoulder to a point where he could play with the injury. As an NFL running back, Martin is undoubtedly receiving care from top-level specialists.

The level of care afforded to him before, during, and after his coming shoulder surgery is of a quality similar to that at Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence. At Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence, our team of expertly trained, highly renowned specialists is able to provide the very best in shoulder injury treatment.

What Is a Labral Tear?

The labrum is a cup-shaped cuff of cartilage that lines the ball and socket joint of the shoulder.  This cartilage works to reinforce the joint and also helps maintain proper shoulder stability and range of motion. The thick tissue that comprises the labrum is susceptible to tearing when trauma is inflicted on the shoulder joint. Shoulder injuries like Martin’s are common causes for labral tears, but since the labrum becomes weaker with age, tearing can happen during the normal aging process.

What Are The Symptoms Of a Labral Tear?

The symptoms of a labral tear can vary based on severity, type, and location. Some common labrum injury symptoms include:

  • Pain during specific activities – Sometimes, pain might only be noticeable when patients participate in certain activities or move their arm in a specific manner. Different types of shoulder rotations and positions can cause pain with a torn labrum.
  • Aching sensation – Torn labrums can be the cause of a consistent aching sensation in the shoulder.  This aching is usually felt within the shoulder joint itself.
  • Catching of the shoulder – Patients that are suffering from a labral tear will often notice their arm “catching” during certain movements. This creates a very obvious deficiency in the patient’s range of motion.
  • Shoulder Dislocations – Labral tears have the potential of increasing the patient’s likelihood of suffering a shoulder dislocation. Because the tissue that supports the shoulder has been compromised, the shoulder can be more prone to dislocation.

How Are Labral Tears Treated?

The treatment for a torn labrum will vary depending on the type of tear that has occurred. Most labral tears do not always require surgery.  Instead, treatments like physical rehabilitation are used to help heal the injury. In severe cases, or when symptoms become unmanageable, surgery can be required.  Surgery may be more common for patients that depend on the full use and ability of their shoulder joint — as in professional athletes like Martin, or in those who are physically active.

When to See a Shoulder Joint Specialist

If you have suffered a shoulder injury and feel like you may have the symptoms of a torn labrum, you should contact a shoulder specialist for a proper diagnosis.  The health and condition of the shoulder cartilage is important in more than just professional athletes. If a torn labrum is left untreated, further complications can arise. The specialists at Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence have the expert training required to provide the highest quality shoulder treatment and surgery in Los Angeles.

Contact a Los Angeles Shoulder Surgeon

The Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence offers renowned orthopedic surgeons specializing in the treatment of labral tears and all other shoulder injuries and chronic shoulder joint conditions. Our specialists will determine and develop the best course of treatment for your injury, whether or not surgery is required. If you have specific questions about shoulder cartilage tears or shoulder pain, you can contact our shoulder surgeons in Los Angeles by calling (888) 847-0357.