The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, where the ball part of the upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket in the shoulder blade. The labrum is a piece of cartilage that forms a cup for the ball part of the joint to sit in. It helps stabilize the shoulder joint and enables movement.
A labral tear occurs when part of this cartilage is torn. This can happen during car accidents due to the forceful impact or abrupt movements.
A labral tear in the shoulder can present various symptoms, depending on the severity and location of the tear. Common symptoms include:
- Shoulder pain: This is often the most noticeable symptom. The pain is usually felt in the shoulder joint and can range from a dull ache to a sharp, intense pain. It may worsen with shoulder movements or when lifting objects.
- Limited range of motion: The shoulder might feel stiff, limiting your ability to move it through its full range of motion. This can affect daily activities, such as reaching overhead or behind your back.
- Catching or locking sensation: Some people with a labral tear experience a catching or locking sensation in the shoulder, especially when moving the arm in certain ways.
- Instability: The shoulder may feel loose, as if it might pop out of place. This sensation often occurs because the labrum is important for stabilizing the shoulder joint.
- Clicking or grinding sounds: You might hear a clicking, grinding, or popping noise when moving your shoulder.