Shoulder Labral Tear

Are you unable to enjoy participating in activities because of a shoulder labral tear that is causing you intense stiffness and discomfort? Did you know that there is a safer, advanced alternative to major joint replacement surgery – one that allows you to return to pain-free motion faster and retain your original shoulder joint? It’s called AROmotion. Our unique, minimally invasive treatment process combines regenerative techniques, arthroscopy, and denervation to target your body’s natural healing ability. AROmotion can restore the life you love, unhindered.

Contact the team at Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics today to learn if AROmotion is the right solution for you!

What is a shoulder labral tear?

The labrum is a cuff of fibrocartilage that surrounds the shoulder to help stabilize the ball of the joint. A shoulder labral tear refers to a tear of the labrum, which can result from an injury or from wear and tear.


The symptoms of a torn shoulder labrum can range from mild to severe, depending on the size of the tear and the cause. Pain tends to be more severe when acute injury causes the labral tear. If the tear is a result of degenerative changes from everyday wear and tear, the pain tends to be mild and worsen gradually.

Shoulder labral tear symptoms may include:

  • Shoulder or arm pain when moving or at rest
  • A catching sensation in the shoulder
  • Arm or shoulder weakness
  • A popping sensation
  • Grinding sensation with movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the shoulder

What caused my shoulder labral tear?

A shoulder labral tear can occur suddenly as the result of trauma, or gradually due to degenerative changes and everyday wear and tear. Common causes of shoulder labral tears include:

  • Falling onto an outstretched arm
  • Accidents, such as motor vehicle or sports
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Forceful movements that pull the arm, such as catching heavy objects
  • Repetitive shoulder motions
  • Degenerative changes due to aging


Anyone can suffer a torn shoulder labrum. Participating in sports that require repetitive overhead motions, or having an occupation that involves repetitive shoulder motions or heavy lifting, can increase the risk of incurring a shoulder labral tear.


To diagnose a torn shoulder labrum, your doctor will first want to discuss the details of your medical history. This may include having your describe your symptoms, discovering when your symptoms first started and whether or not a specific activity/event caused your pain, and learning what aggravates your symptoms. Your doctor will also perform a physical examination to check for any signs of trauma, such as bruising or inflammation, and check your range of motion and shoulder strength by manipulating the shoulder into different positions. He or she will also check for weakness in the shoulder or arms.

Imaging tests are also used to confirm a diagnosis of a torn shoulder labrum. These may include:

  • X-rays

    These images are able to clearly show damage in the bones, including bone spurs, and narrowing of the joint space associated with osteoarthritis. Shoulder X-rays are often the first imaging test ordered to rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as fractures or arthritis. Labral tears will not show on an X-ray.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    This procedure is the preferred imaging test for diagnosing shoulder injuries. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to create highly detailed images of soft tissues such as the labrum. A contrast material (dye) may be injected into the shoulder to highlight damaged tissue.


Labrum tear recovery depends on factors such as the size of the tear, your anatomy, and also the treatment used.

AROmotion is a cutting-edge solution for pain caused by joint injuries and degenerative disorders, including shoulder labral tears. Our unique, minimally invasive treatment procedures are needle-based, meaning that there is no incision and no surgical recovery period. AROmotion preserves your natural shoulder joint, promotes natural healing, and restores your mobility faster than other treatments!

Other treatment options include:

  • Rest

    Resting your shoulder and limiting activities that involve reaching overhead or that cause pain is often the first recommended treatment. A sling may be used to immobilize the shoulder. Continued use of the shoulder can worsen a tear.

  • Medication

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen and ibuprofen, help to relieve pain and swelling.

  • Physical therapy/exercise

    Special exercises can help strengthen your shoulder and improve your range of motion. Physical therapy can also improve pain and help prevent further injury.

  • Corticosteroid injections

    These injections contain a combination of cortisone and a numbing agent that relieves inflammation and offer quick pain relief.

  • Hyaluronic acid injections

    These injections use a fluid similar to the thick fluid found in our joints that provide lubrication so the joint can move better.

  • Radiofrequency ablation

    Also known as denervation, this is a method of temporarily turning off or blocking the nerves from sending pain signals while other therapies have time to take effect.

    • PRP injections

      PRP, or platelet-rich plasma therapy, injects proteins called growth factors, which help support healing in injured areas.

    • Stem cell injections

      Physician directed stem cell therapy uses very powerful young cells to stimulate the patient’s own native repair mechanisms to regenerate new cartilage.

    • Surgery

      Surgery is only recommended when the shoulder labrum tear is large or caused by acute injury, or when less invasive treatments have been tried for at least six months without an improvement in symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend surgery if your shoulder continues to dislocate or if the tear is preventing you from working or participating in your usual physical activities.

    • Surgical labral tear repair can be performed using arthroscopy, which is minimally invasive. Shoulder arthroscopy is performed by inserting a thin tube with a fiber optic camera on the end into a tiny incision that allows the surgeon to view and repair your injury. We combine this procedure with regenerative medicine and denervation to help our patients get back to their active lives as quickly as possible.

    If a torn shoulder labrum is preventing you from moving freely and causing you debilitating pain, contact the skilled team at Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics to find out how we can help you get back to a pain-free life!