Labral Tear Surgery

The shoulder is considered a ball and socket joint with the greatest range of motion of any joint in the human body. The socket (glenoid) is relatively small and shallow and covers approximately 33% of the ball (humeral head). The shoulder’s socket is deepened by a c-shaped rim of cartilage known as the labrum. The labrum is the attachment site for numerous ligaments and a stabilizing unit for the rotator cuff and the shoulder itself. If the labrum becomes torn during a posterior shoulder dislocation or other traumatic event, a reverse Bankart tear is often present in patients. Certain patients suffering from this shoulder injury will require a labral tear surgery, known as an arthroscopic posterior labral repair, to return full stability and function to the joint. Shoulder specialist and orthopedic surgeon serving the Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC area, Dr. Jonathan Ticker is highly experienced at diagnosing and treating the various forms of labral tears with a minimally invasive approach.

The shoulder joint can become unstable if a labral tear at the back (posterior) of the shoulder occurs during a posterior shoulder dislocation. Also known as a reverse Bankart tear, a tear to the back portion of the labrum can cause patients to experience joint pain, a sense of instability and a “popping” or “clicking” sensation during certain movements.

In many cases, a labral tear surgery is required to reattach the labrum to the bone so patients do not experience ongoing instability and posterior shoulder dislocations. Dr. Ticker often recommends an arthroscopic posterior labral repair to return the injured joint to its proper anatomy.

An arthroscopic posterior labral repair is highly successful in preventing recurrent dislocations and alleviating shoulder pain. The labral tear surgery requires Dr. Ticker to place bioabsorbable anchors with attached sutures on the glenoid. The sutures are then looped around the torn labrum and knots are tied in order to reattach the labrum to the bone of the glenoid.

Arthroscopic Posterior Labral Repair Recovery and Rehabilitation

Following an arthroscopic posterior labral repair, patients can expect some degree of shoulder pain for several days. Pain will be managed with a combination of ice, cold packs and medication. Patients will be expected to follow medication guidelines prescribed by Dr. Ticker at all times. Patients will be placed in a sling or similar device for one month after the labral tear surgery. This allows the labrum and ligaments to heal in their new position. Patients will begin a detailed physical therapy program designed to restore motion and regain strength at approximately one month post-surgery.

Arthroscopic Posterior Labral Repair Recovery Time

The majority of patients can expect a full return to activities within 4-6 months. Dr. Ticker and his orthopedic team will monitor each patient’s return to full activities. 

If you have experienced a reverse Bankart tear and would like more information on labral tear surgery, or to determine if you are an ideal candidate for an arthroscopic posterior labral repair, please contact the Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC area orthopedic office of Dr. Jonathan Ticker.