A very common injury in the sports world is a labrum tear. It is an injury to the shoulder cartilage and in some cases can be an injury of the hip cartilage. Because of the complexity of these injuries and the fact that they don’t heal on their own, you would have to have an operation.
When is Surgery Necessary?
Surgery is recommended only in cases when the doctor sees no other option. The surgery should be done only when the labrum tear is not able to heal properly on its own and could not get the adequate stability. The diagnosis has to be confirmed with an MRI or CAT scans. In cases when the results of the CAT scans or the MRI are insufficient, preliminary arthroscopic surgical examination has to be made. That means your doctor will have to make a small incision. The incision on the shoulder has to be made because a video camera needs to be inserted that will assess the condition better. That way, the doctor will be able to easily decide what type of surgery is required.
Types of Surgery
In cases when the injury is not that serious, the doctor may decide to perform an arthroscopic surgery with a thin device that will be attached to the video camera. The torn tissue debris will be removed and the doctor will reattach the tissue to the bone with the help of small anchors. In cases when the labrum tear is serious and the arthroscopic surgery is not powerful enough to correct the injury, an open type of surgery has to be made. This type of surgery gives the doctor better visibility and access to the tear to perform the needed repairs. Shoulder dislocation surgery and rotator cuff tear surgery will always need a surgery of open type because these injuries need stronger repairs.
Advantages and disadvantages of labrum surgery
Open types and arthroscopic labrum surgeries have some advantages and disadvantages when it comes to their final results. Arthroscopic labrum surgery will require less time for recovery and it is in fact less invasive because it actually fixes only minor injuries. The open surgery offers better final results, however, causes more scars and there is a chance of infection as well. Have in mind that any type of surgery has a risk of some type of complications, such as infections or some damage to the blood vessels or the nerves. You can easily identify the problem, if you check regularly for signs. The signs can include bleeding, swelling, and fever. In the first few weeks after the surgery you have to wear a sling and keep the shoulder continuously immobilized so that it is able to heal properly. To fully recover, you will have to continue with physical therapy exercises. After two weeks you can start with the strengthening exercises.