T Nation

Injured Shoulder - Labrum Tear MRI


I have an appointment next week with a surgeon. I had a MRI done yesterday on my right shoulder and wonder if anyone tell if this is a tear or not. Just wondering.


Yup, that's definitely your shoulder.

But seriously though, I have no idea if that's a tear or not. I had a major tear in my labrum and got a little crazy with it (not all my fault, I had a douchebag punch me in the shoulder a few days out of surgery) and now I have to have another surgery to re-repair it. I would advise you to be VERY careful with how you approach the recovery post surgery.


I'm 11 weeks post op from my SLAP tear repair. From my experience I can tell you the MRI can be very deceiving. My MRi showed a slight tear to the posterior labrum with moderate arthritis. I was experiencing a lot of pain and it was causing me difficulty sleeping. I tried PT and opted for surgery. My Ortho said from the MRI that it looked like I would need one anchor. Once he got in there with the scope he found that my shoulder was a lot worse. My labrum was torn much worse than the MRI had showed. It took three anchors to repair the tear, located posterior, superior and anterior. I also had grade V chondral changes (bone on bone arthritis) and he performed a microfracture to promote cartilage growth. He also removed a bone that was affecting my rotator at the supraspinatus.

The recovery has been very slow, I thought I would be much farther along than I actually am. I definitely agree tommytoughnuts, be very careful and listen to everything your Dr and your PT says. You can't push yourself if you're feeling good, it will just cause a set back. I was told to expect anywhere from 6-8 months for the SLAP repair and 18-24 months for the microfracture to fully heal and be back to 100%.


This is pretty much the story of my life. They thought I had a very minor tear in mine but when they opened me up it turned out I had a 180 degree tear with fragments of bone chipped off and I needed to get 3 anchors tossed in there too.


I had labrum surgery couple years ago, followed the rehab program and everything but still get shoulder problems to this day. I guess I'm just unlucky. I can't really bowl, throw football or even play the wii for a long period of time before my right shoulder starts to ache.

I do shoulder re/prehab work after every workout to try and keep it as healthy as possible. I also have a fairly close grip on the bench press now to. I think its most important to stick to the rehab exercises post recovery.


I remember my surgeon stating that he honestly wouldn't know what to expect until he got inside my shoulder. An arthrographic MRI will definitively diagnose a tear but not necessarily reveal the seriousness of the situation. I ended up with five anchors.


Not to hijack the thread but does anyone know how to tell the difference between a labrum tear as opposed to a rotator cuff tear based on type of pain or where it's located or by the movements that hurt?
The reason I ask is because I had surgery on one of my shoulders for both tears but didn't know which tear was causing the pain. They saw rotator tear on MRI but didn't see the labrum tear until they got in.
Now my other shoulder is killing me, with same exact pain only much worse and I was wondering if I could guess what's torn.


What are your symptoms? Where is the pain?

My rotator is fine, so I can't speak on what that kind of pain feels like. With my labrum, it was a constant deep dull ache and I felt very weak. It also made sleeping very hard as I used to sleep on that shoulder.


Pain is deep and in the rear(same as the one I had surgery on). Definitely can't sleep on that arm, I have to sleep at an angle with arm outstretched. Very weak, and accompanied with lots of pain at certain pressing angles. Once the weight gets anywhere past my 50-60% previous maxes it hurts even unracking it. But even if I keep weight super light and try to hit high reps the pain sets in as soon as I get fatigued and it starts to get difficult. Dumbells aren't much better.
Also none of my pressing can be done with any elbow flare. Broomstick stretches aren't helping and also cause lots of pain until I warm up enough, but pain immediately returns.
Internal rotation seems more of the problem since it really hurts when squeezing down trying to open a tight jar lid.

Just out of curiousity anyone here have either a rotator cuff or labrum tear which they didn't opt for surgery and instead just rested and got better? I know it probably depends on severity of tear but just curious.


A good site to look at is www.slaptear.com. I got a lot of info and had a lot of questions answered through their forum.


I am meeting tomorrow with my Surgeon to discuss my MRI and I fear the worse. It now has been over three months and my shoulder is still painful. I rarely get more than 4 hours of sleep and working out or even using a mouse is painful. I thought that if I waited it would get better. In the past I have always work through all my injuries but this one is not cooperating.


Best of luck! Has your surgeon performed any manual tests on your shoulder? My surgeon performed five different tests and I failed all five. That along with the MRI showed the labral tear.


I tore my labrum and rotator cuff when I tried to catch myself while falling. The surgeon I met with said the tears were small and that physical therapy would be the best option. I went through PT and did not feel any better. A couple of years later, after dislocating my shoulder several more times, I went back to the doctor who did another MRI. It showed the rotator cuff had filled with scar tissue and the labrum still only had a small tear. I got a second opinion who agreed with the first and I did more PT. After 7 years of not being able to do anythig overhead without risk of dislocation, I finally went back to a new surgeon and it was fixed in March. My tear was MUCH worse than the MRI had shown because the way it was torn the tissue folded back down and they couldn't see how large the tear was in the MRI. My shoulder was not in place when they went in with the scope. Due to the multiple dislocations over the years, my tendons had also stretched completely out and became detached. So they were reattached and tightened in the surgery. I'm 4 months out of surgery now and recovery has been slow, but my shoulder feels more stable than it has in a long time. If I had it all to do over I would have really pushed for the surgery in the beginning. I wasted many years avoiding certain activities because of the shoulder.


I had an MRI done on my shoulder in February ('16).

I had been experiencing pain in my shoulder while I do chest workouts. It would generally start to get sore (not like muscular sore, but in a very specific way) when I started to get tired but I would also experience loss of range of motion if I bent it a certain way (which I couldn't even tell which way it was and still can't to this day, it happens sometimes while doing simple things like putting on or taking off a shirt).

It's like it pops out or something. I won't be able to lift my arm above shoulder level for a good 10 or 15 minutes when it happens, then the regular rom would return. I figured out if I lift my arm straight out in front of me all the way straight up until it's vertical, palm up, then it would get it back into place somehow, to restore the rom without having to wait it out.

I can't explain all that, it's just the little bit I know from my experience and testing it.

The doctor told me that I have a small labrum tear in the front and another small one in the back along with a bone spur. He said he could do surgery, but the recovery would be a year. He advised that he doesn't think it's necessary, since I generally haven't lost any range of motion (unless that phenomonen happens, which is not uncommon but not all the time, either) The shoulder doesn't feel 100%, but if I'm careful, I can do a shoulder workout without too much trouble. Especially if I keep it with lighter loads.

I'm worried that I'll be making it worse. I don't do much pressing overhead with heavy weights, any more (not that I ever did it a whole lot to begin with, but there was a period of time when I'd do some push-presses for sets of 5 or so and my shoulder wouldn't be too bad).

I'm thinking that if I keep the form good and am careful that I should be able to make due, but I honestly don't know for sure. The doctor said to stay away from doing heavy stuff and olympic lifts and other similar type of movements, but I'm going to have a hard time not doing them at least a little bit. I'm still very active playing soccer and football and would still like to be able to get some shoulder development. He also gave me some stretches to do, he said to do them twice a day, but I don't see how stretching that much will help labrum tears and a bone spur. I definitely do them during workouts and from time to time, but don't do them every day twice. Am I being a dumbass and should I be doing them?

If anyone can give more info or advice, it's welcome. But that's the extent of my experience with minor labrum tears (and a bone spur).