What Is Labrum Repair?

Labrum repair is a surgical procedure that repairs the torn tissues of the labrum back to the shoulder socket. The labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the bony socket of a ball-and-socket joint, making the joint deeper, more stable, and with the surrounding ligaments, keeps the ball centered during motion. Both the shoulder and hip joints have a labrum and can be compromised due to injury, overuse, or age-related wear and tear. In some cases, a non-surgical approach is enough to relieve the symptoms of a labral tear, but in many circumstances or active patients, surgical repair is recommended.

The Process of Labrum Repair

The surgical techniques used to perform a labral repair will vary based on the severity and location of the injury. In most cases, this surgery is done arthroscopically with small incisions, rather than a large, open procedure. During surgery, the patient is placed under general anesthesia before the surgeon makes small incisions around the affected joint. They will then insert an arthroscope, a small camera, to visualize the inside of the joint. Using specialized instruments, your surgeon then repairs the torn or damaged labrum by reattaching it to the bone using sutures or anchors. This also reattaches the surrounding ligaments, to keep the shoulder stable and to prevent future dislocations. In some cases, additional structures are repaired, such as bone fragments that may have broken off during the dislocation event or to fill in other defects to prevent future episodes. 

Once the repair is completed, the incisions are closed, and the joint may be immobilized with a sling or brace to aid in the healing process. Post-surgery, physical therapy is often prescribed to restore strength, mobility, and function to the joint. Most people do physical therapy for approximately three months after the surgery and return to sports in four to six months. Most patients return to unlimited activity eventually.

Benefits of Labrum Repair

There are many benefits of undergoing a labrum repair. Some of the benefits include:

  • Alleviates pain and discomfort.
  • Restores your natural range of motion.
  • Improves overall joint stability.
  • Allow return to sports and physical activity.

Preparing for Your Surgery

Preparation for labrum repair surgery begins with a preoperative evaluation with your provider, who will review your medical history, current condition, and any medications you are taking to ensure you’re in the best health for this procedure. You will have the opportunity to ask questions so you are comfortable and ready for your surgery. You may have to pick up medications and in some cases, lab tests or other evaluations may be done before surgery depending on your medical history. 

You will be advised not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. You will need someone to take you to the hospital or surgery center before your surgery and drive you home afterward. It is often helpful to have someone stay with you for the first night or two. It is also recommended that you prepare your home for your recovery to make completing tasks with only one functional arm or leg easier. 

Expected Recovery

Initially, patients may experience pain and swelling in the affected joint, which can be managed with pain medication and cold compresses. Your doctor may want you to perform simple exercises the day after surgery to get the arm moving. Most likely, medicine will be prescribed for pain, which you should use according to their instructions. Frequently, a follow-up visit is done about a week after the surgery to check your incisions and remove stitches. 

For most patients, a personalized physical therapy plan is an essential part of the recovery process, focusing on restoring strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the joint. Patients may need to wear a sling or brace to support the joint during the early stages of recovery. It usually takes several months to fully recover from labrum repair surgery, with most patients able to return to normal activities within four to six months, although the specific timeline may vary depending on the individual and the extent of the injury.

Why Have Surgery in Naples, Florida?

In Naples, Florida, we’re fortunate to have warm weather year-round, which creates an ideal environment for recovering from surgery. Many patients travel to Florida from northern locations because the post-operative period is free from snow and other cold weather difficulties. Our office frequently accommodates out-of-state patients. We are also able to help with the transition to therapy providers in other states who will continue where your treatment left off when you’re ready to leave. 

Schedule a Consultation

Labrum repair surgery with Dr. Steven Goldberg can significantly improve your quality of life by relieving the pain and limitations from a torn labrum. Naples, FL is an ideal area to recover from your procedure. Fill out an online contact form today to request an appointment. Let’s get you back to feeling and performing your best!