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5 labral tear shoulder surgery recovery tips

Labral Tear Shoulder Surgery Recovery
3 minutes, 34 seconds

The labrum is made up of tissue and cartilage that attaches to the shoulder socket and helps keep the shoulder stable. When the labrum becomes torn, the shoulder may suffer instability as a result. About 4% to 8% of all shoulder injuries are labral tears. They’re common in athletes who make frequent overhead motions, like baseball or softball players.

If you’ve recently experienced a labral tear in your shoulder and been told you may need to undergo surgery, read here for more information. In this article, we discuss more about labral tears and how you can recover quicker from surgery on a labral tear in the shoulder.

What are the symptoms of a labral tear in the shoulder?

The types of symptoms a person may experience depend on the severity of the tear. Not every case will be the same, and more serious tears may result in more significant symptoms.

What are some of the most common causes of a labral tear in the shoulder?

  • Fractures.
  • Repetitive motions.
  • Traumatic injuries.

Why might a labral tear in the shoulder require surgery? How long does recovery take after surgery?

Whether a labral tear requires surgery depends on the severity of the tear. Tears that involve the labrum separating from the socket of the shoulder are usually the ones that need to be reattached through surgery. 

The length of the recovery depends on the severity of the tear, the success of the surgery, and how well you take care of your shoulder after the surgery. Generally, recovery after surgery on a labral tear in the shoulder can take anywhere from four to six weeks to hold to the bone and then another four to six weeks to become stable. Again, this estimate of recovery depends on several factors, which can cause the process to shorten or lengthen.

How can you work toward a quick and successful recovery after surgery from a labral tear in the shoulder?

  • Consult with a physical therapist after surgery — One of the most effective things you can do to work toward a speedy recovery after surgery on the labral tear in your shoulder is to consult with a physical therapist after surgery. Physical therapists can work within your pain threshold to build strength in the shoulder to protect your shoulder joint and reduce inflammation and swelling. They can show you the movements you can perform at home to continue your recovery when you’re not physically in the PT clinic, and they can also show you what you can do to make your home more comfortable immediately following your surgery. Not only can post-surgical rehab help recovery, but pre-surgical rehab can too.
  • Consult with a physical therapist before surgery — If you haven’t yet gone through with your surgery, you can help speed up your recovery time and improve your chances of a successful recovery by seeing a therapist beforehand. They can help physically prepare you for the labral tear surgery on your shoulder. A physical therapist will provide you with movements and exercises that will build muscle strength in your shoulder and around your labrum. Building strength in the shoulder before the surgery can help reduce muscle loss after the surgery occurs.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medication — Anti-inflammatory medication can be taken to reduce the swelling and inflammation around the shoulder joint. Whether over the counter or prescribed by a physician, anti-inflammatory medications may help the recovery process. 
  • Give yourself plenty of time to rest — Rest is an integral part of recovery. If you don’t give your shoulder enough time to rest, you risk re-injuring yourself or prolonging your recovery.
  • Use ice packs on your shoulder — Using an ice pack on your shoulder after surgery can help reduce the inflammation in the area of the labral tear. You should regularly apply ice immediately following your surgery to reduce the swelling and pain for the first few weeks after your procedure.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch physical therapy to recover from surgery on a labral tear in the shoulder

Physical therapy both before and after surgery can be beneficial. At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can work with you as you recover from surgery on the labral tear in your shoulder. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

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