Shoulder Labral Reconstruction

Shoulder Labral Reconstruction Q & A

What is the shoulder labrum?
The shoulder labrum is a ring of cartilage in the socket joint of your shoulder. This ring of cartilage provides cushioning between the socket joint in your shoulder and the ball joint in your humerus and keeps the joint stable.

A traumatic injury or overuse of the shoulder may lead to a tear in the labrum. The cartilage also degenerates as you get older, making it more susceptible to injury and tearing.

What are the types of shoulder labral tears?
There are three common types of shoulder labral tears: superior-labrum anterior-posterior (SLAP) tear, Bankart tear, and posterior labral tear.

  • SLAP tear - A SLAP tear is an injury to the top portion of the labrum where the bicep tendon attaches to the labrum.
  • Bankart tear - Bankart tears commonly occur after a shoulder dislocation, tearing the lower portion of the labrum and stretching the ligaments.
  • Posterior labral tearA posterior labral tear is an injury to the glenoid rim. It is the least common type of labral tear. No matter the type, a shoulder labral tear usually causes pain in the shoulder and limited shoulder mobility. You may also feel a catching or locking sensation.

Who needs shoulder labral reconstruction?
Dr. Klassen only recommends shoulder labral reconstruction when non-surgical treatments fail to alleviate symptoms. Non-surgical treatment of shoulder labral tears may include anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy.

His experience and training in shoulder labral reconstruction make Dr. Klassen an excellent medical legal expert. He provides attorneys, insurers, and government entities with advice, evaluations, guidance, and expert testimony.

Dr. Klassen's medical legal services include independent medical examinations (IMEs), medical record reviews, impairment ratings, and opinions on causation. He also provides agreed medical evaluations (AMEs) and qualified medical evaluations (QMEs).

What happens during shoulder labral reconstruction?
Dr. Klassen performs arthroscopic surgery for shoulder labral reconstruction. During the minimally invasive surgery, he inserts an arthroscope through a small incision in the injured shoulder to evaluate the joint and the tear.

Dr. Klassen then uses various techniques to repair the labral tear depending on the type of tear. For a SLAP tear, he may remove the damaged labrum and reattach the tendon if needed.

For a Bankart tear, Dr. Klassen performs the Bankart procedure. During surgery, he reattaches the labrum and the capsule to the glenoid cavity.

How long is recovery following shoulder labral reconstruction?
Recovery time following shoulder labral reconstruction varies and depends on the severity of the injury, overall health, and the body's natural repair process. With care and rehabilitation, most patients return to their pre-injury activity within three months after reconstruction.

To discuss shoulder labral reconstruction for you or your client, call the office of Michael Klassen, MD, FAAOS today.

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