The casual term “torn shoulder” is commonly used by patients to refer to a labral tear or a torn rotator cuff. When describing a labral tear, or an injury to the labrum (the ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket), a patient may feel sharp catching or popping sensations in the shoulder, lingering aches, and a general feeling of shoulder instability that hinders the arm’s range of motion. Residents of the Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg, Florida, area who are experiencing symptoms of torn shoulder injuries should seek prompt medical attention.
Labral tears are often sustained by a direct injury to the shoulder, such as those suffered when outstretching the arm to brace for an impact. They may also be created over time through frequent high-intensity motions, like lifting heavy objects. Athletes such as baseball pitchers and football quarterbacks are especially prone to labral tears due to the stress placed on the labrum and adjoining bicep muscle when throwing.
There’s no universal method of diagnosing a torn shoulder, since the labrum is located underneath several muscles and joints that are also susceptible to injury. A doctor may determine if the shoulder is torn by performing several tests to gauge the arm’s stability and range of motion, and what particular movements cause pain for the patient. X-rays and scans may also be taken to help come to an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment for a torn shoulder will vary according to the extent of the tear and the patient’s active lifestyle. Usually, a doctor will try to lessen the tear and associated pain through non-surgical means, like anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and physical therapy. If pain and dysfunction persist, surgery may be necessary to mend the tear.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a torn shoulder, consult with the Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg, FL, area specialists at Tampa Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group. Our Board-certified professionals, orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Murphy and sports medicine physician Dr. Arnold Ramirez, provide exceptional care for shoulder injuries to patients of all ages – including professional sports teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Yankees. Contact our clinic today to schedule your consultation.