University of Connecticut basketball player Rodney Purvis underwent arthroscopic surgery in late December to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Purvis, who is sitting out this season after his transfer from North Carolina State, has stated that his shoulder has bothered him since high school. An MRI performed earlier this year revealed that Purvis had suffered a labral tear in his left shoulder. Due to the NCAA rules mandating that players are to sit a season out after transferring, Purvis decided now would be the best time to address the issue by undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery. This will likely allow him to be completely healthy at the start of the 2013-2014 season in the fall. The Los Angeles shoulder specialists at Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence are highly experienced in the surgical procedure used to repair a torn labrum in the shoulder, allowing them to provide the top shoulder injury surgery in Los Angeles.

What is a Torn Labrum?

The labrum, or fibrocartilage, is a type of cartilage located within the shoulder. The ball and socket joint of the shoulder is very shallow and prone to instability. To counteract this instability, the labrum is a cuff of cartilage that forms a cup inside the socket for the ball of the arm bone to move within. By making the socket deeper and supporting the bones, the labrum gives the shoulder joint more stability and allows for a wide range of motion and movement.

Unfortunately, the thick tissue that makes up the labrum is prone to tearing with trauma to the shoulder joint. If a patient was injured after taking a blow to the shoulder while playing sports, or suffers from any other sort of shoulder injury, it can be common for that patient to have a torn labrum. Not all labral tears occur after acute injury, however. The tissue that makes up the labrum begins to degrade with age and can tear as a result of the normal aging process.

The symptoms of a torn labrum will depend on the severity and location of the injury. An aching sensation in the shoulder is a common symptom, along with catching or locking of the arm within the shoulder with movement. Due to the nature of this type of injury, pain felt in the area of the joint may be felt when performing certain activities and movements. In addition to these adverse symptoms, labral tears may also cause shoulder instability and can increase the likeliness of a dislocated shoulder.

Torn Labrum Repair

The type of treatment method used for a labral tear will vary depending on the individual case. It can be common for some patients to not require surgery, as they will instead participate in a physical rehabilitation program or receive other non-surgical treatments. When the symptoms of a torn labrum become severe and unresponsive to conservative treatment, arthroscopic surgery can be performed to repair the damaged cartilage. Surgery may often be used in patients that require full use of their arm and joint, as with athletes like Purvis.

Contact a Los Angeles Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon

You do not have to be a star athlete to receive the best available treatment. Shoulder injuries like a torn labrum may often be surgically repaired in those that live an active lifestyle. If you have been experiencing shoulder discomfort, shoulder instability, or shoulder pain in Los Angeles, contact the specialists at Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence today. Our expert team can accurately diagnose the source of your symptoms and provide you with the most effective treatment plan for your individual case. If you would like to schedule a consultation, contact us at (888) 847-0357 or use our contact form.