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Anyone Had a Torn Shoulder Labrum?


I couldn't find the injury forum so I'm posting this here.

Anyone torn their shoulder labrum? I hurt my shoulder and haven't had an MRI and I'm not sure I need one now other than for peace of mind. The doc poked and prodded me and had me do some other things to "test" for rotator cuff strength and he said it was fine. He thinks it is just a strained muscle. I've never strained a delt but have strained both pecs and they bruised up. There is no bruising on/around my delt.

My question is: with a torn labrum, what does it feel like? Could you do things like a push up or dip? I can do pushups and dips. Pull ups make my shoulder feel unstable at the top. I've been doing the diesel crew's shoulder rehab/prehab daily. The only thing really causing any pain is the dislocates. My shoulder will sometimes "catch" when doing a movement but it doesn't hurt, just feels weird.

Anyone have any advice other than take more ibuprofen and wait it out?



I would get the MRI. When I tore mine the first doc I went to said it was nothing. Second one gave me the MRI, labral tear and spurs.

If it hurt hurts donâ??t do it. Big difference between good and bad pain.

My injury hurt, sharp constant pain on the top of the shoulder.

The â??catchingâ?? (clicking?) might be instability.


When I had a torn labrum my shoulder would sublax with overhead movements and i had pain at the top of the shoulder most of the time. Actually, I could “push” the humerus out of the joint from most positions.


I have an aching burning pain on the side of my shoulder, about where the rear delt/medial delt meet but that can be massaged out. And a weird pain that only comes about when I stretch my arm out and back. That’s the pain that I’m worried about because it originates in/around/near the pec/delt tie-in. I had some ART and Graston done and it made it feel better.

The catching/clicking definitely is an instability which I hope goes away. My shoulder feels better than a week ago when I hurt it. I keep forgetting it’s a relatively “fresh” injury and isn’t something chronic.


I tore mine and flipped it upside down. Got surgery, re-dislocated the shoulder 4 more times before I decided to give up fighting and focus on lifting.

That being said, I didn’t try to workout with a torn labrum. Get it looked at.

  1. did you see a family physician or an orthopeadic surgeon who specializes in sports injuries? See an ortho that has worked with local HS sports teams, college or professional teams

  2. The “catching” may be caused by inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons or the subacromial bursa.

  3. Was there a mechanism of injury (ie. a fall, tackle, or dislocation)?

  4. Have a friend help you perform this test to evaluate for a labral tear.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaDhqFP4lCE&feature=related If it’s positive then definitely see an ortho for further evaluation.


this has got me wondering about what i’ve been refusing to believe for years (i have seen doctors on several occasions without luck in the past), but when trying to do the test, i cant get quite full internal rotation but any movement/resistance is immediate intense pain…wonders if this is why all my personal rehab efforts have been subpar…to the OP (and all others) i hope for the best for you all, because personally (obviously) shoulder surgery is the absolute last thing i want to have to do right now…but who knows

-as its relevent, (aka not to hijack) anyone who has had this surgery done, what was the results? full ROM and stability after rehab therapy? - how long?


I had a SLAP tear (torn labrum) in my right shoulder. Not really caused by any one specific injury. Went to ortho, did x-ray prescribed six weeks of PT. No improvement so had MRI and saw tear. Did surgury then rehab. When I was finally cleared to lift again I couldn’t bench press 25 lb DBs without excruciating pain, worse than it was prior to surgery.

Went to second ortho, took x-ray, prescribed 6 weeks of PT. I told him I’ve already done that, just do the MRI. After viewing the MRI discovered the first surgery “Failed” and it needed to be redone. Had second surgery, did rehab and all is well. I’m benching 100 lbs more than prior to first surgery. I do get an occasional twinge in the front and some movements don’t feel as smooth or natural as before.

Also when I squat it feels like my scapula on that side is higher and the bar digs into it. Throwing (baseball) is just plain awkward feeling and ugly but at 43 my hopes of making the Majors is dwindling…

I’ve been having pain in my hip, went to the Ortho (the second one). He took an xray and prescribed 6 weeks of PT…


When I tore mine I couldn’t lift my arm up any more without screaming.


Get a second opinion and go from their…


if you didn’t see a specialist about it, do it. An ER doctor and my GP both missed my slap tear and I ended up delaying my surgery by almost two years, due to the two blown diagnoses. The ortho first pulled my arm across my chest and heard a loud pop, then sent me for an MRI Arthrogram to confirm I had a slap tear. It’s been two years since my surgery, and now I’m benching well beyond where I was pre-injury. Recovery from the surgery is not very pleasant tho, but it was worth it in the end.


About three weeks ago I was deadlifting and I felt a tear in my right shoulder. My doctor had me get an MRI because he thought I might have torn my rotator cuff. I took the MRI pictures to an orthopedic surgeon and it showed that I have a 10mm tear in the labrum, a 2mm ganglion cyst, and a partial tear of the lat tendon. The labrum tear did not cause any instability in my shoulder and I have had no problems with any pressing motions.

The ortho thought the labrum tear and cyst might actually be old injuries. The only other time I did anything to my shoulder was 13 years ago. If these are old injuries then I haven’t had any pain from them for 13 years.

The lat tendon tear is the injury that is causing my pain. It only bothers me when I do pulling exercises so I have to take it easy until it heals. I didn’t want to take the chance that my injury was serious and that I could possibly make it worse. If it needed surgery I wanted to get it done sooner so I could get to rehab earlier. You can alway wait and see if it gets better with time. For me it would depend on how much it was affecting my ability to train.


I had an open capsular posterior reconstruction almost a year after the tear. Recovery was unpleasant but now I can snatch and clean and jerk and yes bench press more than before the surgery if that’s what you’re after.


Well, the MRI report shows everything is fine except for a possible dislocated bicipital tendon. All the rotator cuff muscles and the labrum were intact. It also shows I do have tendonitis with a couple of the rotator tendons (don’t remember which ones). No fluid buildup anywhere. Some bone spurs too.

The Doc wants me to try physical therapy first and then refer me to a specialist if that doesn’t help. He isn’t convinced the radiologist is correct because of his experiences with them. He noted I wasn’t too keen on PT and asked me why. I told him I have been religiously doing the diesel crew shoulder rehab (I told him shoulder rehab stuff since he wouldn’t know who the diesel crew was) since the injury and have made remarkable improvement but the deep pain was still there with certain movements. I told him I would try the PT but would be surprised if she could show me anything I didn’t already do or know about.

It makes sense to me, One of the symptoms is popping and clicking, which I have with certain movements. A shoulder dislocate actually makes me wince and twitch with pain if my hands are anything but as wide as the will go, so I skip them during my rehad. I can do dips, push ups, pull ups, and deadlifts completely pain free. I can’t squat except with an SSB and curling gives me a sensation at the edge of my left pec. I haven’t bench yet since the injury.

How it happened:

Prologue: A couple of years ago, I was benching and felt a pop. Instant pain, thought I tore a pec. MRI then showed no tear, just a high grade strain. After the bruising went away, I noticed my pec “shfited” inward and there didn’t seem to be the fullness of my pec at the armpit as there had been. (See the area on the pic) It seems something stringy is there, like everything shifted left (when facing me). After I healed up, I had no problem with anything.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I’m a cop and was taking arresting someone and had to use an armbar takedown to get him to the ground. After he was cuffed up, I noticed my shoulder was hurting and that is what led me to the doctor (workmen’s comp… I know I know. I had to go see him). There was general pain and slight swelling and the pain seemed to originate from the posterior/medial delt area. The diesel crew stuff helped immensely but since I hurt it, there has been the deep aching pain in the front delt/pec area (about where the bicipital tendon would be) that I THOUGHT may be a labrum tear and wasn’t there before that incident.

Anyone had a dislocated or partially dislocated bicipital tendon? If so, how was it fixed or are you living with it? .

On a side note, the MRI place handed me a CD with the images on it. Last time I had one, they gave me the actual films…Not that I know what I am looking at.

obatiger11, I gave myself the O’Brien test and with my palm supinated, it hurts. Pronated not at all. I have a feeling a specialist is in my near future.



Depending on where the bone spurs are located, you could be experiencing what is commonly referred to as impingement syndrome. Basically, those bone spurs may be pressing down into the biceps tendon and/or the rotator cuff tendons and causing them to become inflammed and irritated. One possible cure for this is anti-inflammatory medications. I recommend Celebrex which you will need a prescription for. Advil, Aleve, Motrin all work but the Celebrex works much better and faster. Another possibility could be a cortisone injection.

Both will help aleviate the inflammation in the tendons but if the bone spurs are fairly large it is only a matter of time before the tendons become irritated again. The remedy for bone spurs is arthroscopic (aka “a scope”) surgery where the Dr. goes into the shoulder under the AC joint and shaves the spurs off. Usually this is a quick rehab.

As for the initial radiology reading, you could have the Dr. ask for a second reading by another radiologist.

Give PT a try. At PT you could get several modalities–ultrasound, phonophoresis, iontophoresis–which could help in decreasing the inflammation. As well, it’s been my experience that if you are suffering from impingement syndrome PT techniques such as inferior and posterior shoulder joint mobilizations can help. Also, if you are already convinced that it won’t work, then it won’t work. When you go to PT, make sure you work w/ the PT or a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) not a PT-aid or some other slap dick who is familiar w/ the exercises at the clinic but has never recieved a formal education in therapy techniques. BELIEVE ME IT HAPPENS MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.

Is the “deep pain” a dull, achy or sharp, shooting, stabbing pain? Tendonitis is typically a dull, achy pain. Popping & clicking is a common symptom seen w/ biceps tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, impingement syndrome and labral tears.

When you get to the top (hands above head) of a shoulder dislocate–basically you are grinding your biceps and rotator cuff tendons into the undersurface of the AC joint where you have the bone spurs. Avoid these for now.

FYI-a “high grade strain” is a partial tear. You had what would be a Grade 2 (out of 3) strain which is a partial tear of a muscle but not a complete tear. Think of a thick rope which you cut thru half-way. Some of the fibers of the rope are still intact but some of them are cut in half. Grade 1 = only stretching of the fibers. Grade 3 = a complete tear of the muscle into two separate pieces (ie. a “tear”).

The lack of pec fullness is a common deformity seen after a Grade 2 pec strain. The “divot” you see is where the muscle fibers were torn.

I have never seen a dislocating biceps tendon but you may have torn the transverse humeral ligament which holds the long head of the biceps tendon in it’s groove at the head of the humerus. If this ligament is torn, the biceps tendon is not being stabilized in it’s groove so when lifting or doing everyday chores the tendon may be moving excessively which will cause it to become inflammed.

obatiger11, I gave myself the O’Brien test and with my palm supinated, it hurts. Pronated not at all. I have a feeling a specialist is in my near future.

That’s a good thing. A positive o’brien test is when you have pain w/ the hand pronated but that pain is alleviated when the test is performed with the hand supinated. If the pain you feel w/ your hand supinated is located directly over the anterior shoulder, anterior delt, and biceps tendon then this could only be biceps tendonitis. You can Google “speeds shoulder test” and “hawkin’s impingement test” if you want to do some further self testing. Speed’s test will assess for biceps tendonitis and labrum tear. Hawkins will assess for impingement.

My opinion is you are more than likely dealing w/ impingement syndrome (inflammed rotator cuff and biceps tendons) which is being prolonged and/or even caused by the bone spurs.

If your pain has gotten significantly better, then that is a good sign. Labral tears don’t heal on their own and typically don’t feel better over time. Impingement syndrome, biceps tendonitis and rotator cuff tendonitis will get better over time although nothing ever heals as fast as we want it too.


CT arthrogram with dye is the best test to indentify a labral tear. MRI’s often do not pick up a torn labrum (although I would imagine a T3 weighted one would). See a real shoulder specialist for a solid evaluation instead of guessing. It’s not worth the months and years of frustration. If it is only a labral tear, recoverying is easy, but labral tears are usually accompanied by a loose joint capsule and bone spurs…all symptoms of shoulder instability. You lose shoulder stability when you tear a labrum and as a result try to stabilize your joint with the growth of bone spurs because of the “humeral wobble” that takes place. Bones rubbing stimulates bone formation. Depending on the type/degree of labral tear, there is alternate routes other than surgery.

Identify your problem first, then get a course of action. Only have the best shoulder surgeon operate on you if that is your only option. However, look into the possible option of PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections guided by ultrasound. If your issue is minor, a couple treatments might take care of it. Where are you located? Most general Ortho guys are full of shit when it comes to correctly diagnosing a shoulder problem.


I’ll give PT a try. I forgot they do other things than coach you in exercises to correct things. Obviously, if that doesn’t work, I’ll go see a specialist.

I completely failed Speeds test. All the others I don’t feel much, if any, pain. I have definitely torn something in the past up there. I’m just not sure what it is.

Joe C,
I was given an MRI without arthrogram. I didn’t realize that until it was completed. My shoulder doesn’t feel nearly as unstable as it did. In fact, daily life doesn’t really bother it until I go to lift something in a way that would activate the biceps.

Thanks you guys for the advice. I sincerely appreciate it. I just wish it would go away.


Try to avoid the concentric portion of lifting on your biceps if that is the case. A good exercise you might want to try is eccentric neutral grip pullups where a partner does the lifting face and you lower slowly. A good way to strengthen the tendon in a different way that might not irritate the problem and possibly make it better.


Joe C,

Two things really hurt:
Speeds Test
anytime I put my arm behind my back almost like a natural swing of the arm if one were walking fast. Basically, if I were to elbow someone directly behind me, it would hurt me as much as them. The pain is up in the region outlined in the diagram above.

I start PT Monday…

I have done some neutral grips pullups and they didn’t hurt, just humbled me a bit because they seemed harder than a regular pull up.


PM tom63, he is a doctor of chiropractic, ART specialist, and competitive powerlifter who has suffered a torn labrum before. he might have some useful info.