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Labrum Tear Arthroscopic Surgery

Labrum tear arthroscopic surgery is a specialized surgery for repairing tears in the labrum, a section of cartilage that lines and reinforces a joint. While labrum injuries can occur in both the shoulder and hip joints, arthroscopic surgery can be a viable option for either. Because labrum tear arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive, patients can expect shorter recovery times, less postoperative pain, and fewer complications compared to open surgery methods. 

What is Labrum Tear Arthroscopic Surgery? 

Labrum tear arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive shoulder or hip surgery that attaches a cuff of cartilage found in ball-and-socket joints like the shoulder and hip, the labrum, to the bone in the joint. The labrum’s purpose is to extend the socket, stabilize the joint, and seal the joint capsule, allowing for fluid movement while maintaining stability. However, when the labrum is damaged through trauma, such as a fall, or through repetitive motions that strain and degrade the joint, patients can experience severe pain and discomfort.  

Arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum involves using an arthroscope, which gives the surgeon a view of the damaged joint through a small incision. The surgeon can then trim or reattach the torn labrum, securing it to the bone with anchors. With the labrum reattached, the joint will see restored stability, alleviating pain and allowing a return to normal function. 

What is a Labrum Tear Arthroscopic Surgery Procedure Like? 

As a minimally invasive procedure, labrum tear arthroscopic surgery utilizes modern techniques and instruments to repair the torn labrum without damaging surrounding areas. The surgery begins with small incisions around the joint, typically less than one centimeter in length, serving as entry points for surgical instruments. Through one of these incisions, the surgeon inserts an arthroscope, a small flexible tube with a light and camera attached. 

The arthroscope projects a detailed image of the joint’s interior onto a monitor, giving the surgeon a clear, magnified view of the labrum and surrounding tissues. This enables precise navigation and manipulation within the joint, allowing for minimal disruption to other tissues.  

To re-secure the labrum to the bone, the surgeon uses suture anchors. These are tiny devices embedded into the bone at the edge of the joint socket. Sutures are attached to these anchors and threaded through the labrum to stitch it firmly back into place. Once securely attached, the incisions are closed and dressed. 

Thanks to the arthroscope, this is all accomplished through small incisions rather than open surgery.   

What Does Recovery Look Like After Torn Labrum Surgery? 

Recovery from labrum tear arthroscopic surgery is minimal compared to open surgery. Patients will likely be asked to keep the joint immobile during recovery, usually using a sling. This is generally followed by a period of physical therapy, which starts with gentle exercises designed to build strength while protecting the torn labrum repair. The total recovery period varies but generally spans several weeks for full recovery, depending on the extent of the original injury. Because the surgery utilizes arthroscopy, the small incisions do not require much post-operative care besides keeping the area clean and changing the dressings as instructed by your physician. 

Are There Any Risks Associated with Labrum Tear Arthroscopic Surgery? 

As with any surgery, there are some risks to labrum tear arthroscopic surgery. While arthroscopic surgery is less invasive, your doctor may communicate these possible risks before surgery: 

  • Infection, though rare, can occur as foreign surgical instruments are inserted into the joint.  
  • Nerve damage is possible if the instruments used during surgery affect nearby nerves. 
  • Re-tear of the labrum is one potential risk if the patient does not follow proper rest, recovery, and therapy instructions. 
  • Stiffness or loss of mobility are rare, but some patients may experience stiffness or reduced mobility in the weeks following surgery. Physical therapy can often help reduce these side effects.  

Although serious complications are uncommon, if you experience severe side effects like excessive bleeding or debilitating pain, consult your doctor immediately.  


Frequently Asked Questions About Labrum Tear Surgery 

What is the success rate of Labrum Tear Arthroscopic Surgery? 

Labrum tear arthroscopic surgery boasts a high success rate, with most patients experiencing significant pain relief and improved joint stability. Success rates vary based on the severity of the tear and the patient’s adherence to post-operative rehab. 

How does arthroscopic surgery compare to other treatment options? 

Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive, which offers several benefits over traditional open surgery. It involves smaller incisions, reducing pain, shorter recovery times, and less scarring. Compared to non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, medication, or injections, arthroscopic surgery directly addresses the structural issue by repairing the torn labrum, providing a more permanent solution. However, non-surgical options may be considered for less severe cases or those who cannot undergo surgery. 

Who is a candidate for arthroscopic surgery? 

Candidates for arthroscopic labrum repair typically include individuals with significant labrum tears causing pain, instability, or limited range of motion that does not improve with conservative treatments. Athletes or active individuals who suffer from acute injuries are often ideal candidates. 

Can any surgeon perform arthroscopic surgery? 

Not all surgeons are qualified to perform arthroscopic surgery. This procedure requires specialized training in orthopedic surgery, particularly in minimally invasive techniques. Patients should seek a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine or joint surgery who has extensive experience in arthroscopic procedures. Our arthroscopic surgeons at New York Orthopedics are highly specialized in this area, boasting countless procedures across the practice. Contact us today if you’d like to schedule an appointment or for more information. 


NY Orthopedics Shoulder Surgery Specialists 


NY Orthopedics has multiple sports medicine offices in New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, as well as the surrounding counties, including Nassau, Westchester, and Rockland. NY Orthopedics surgeons are also well-versed in addressing issues with the knees, hips, feet, and shoulders. Contact us today to learn more about our services or make an appointment! 

Our Labrum Tear Arthroscopic Surgery Specialists

Stephen J. Nicholas, M.D.
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Dr. Steven J. Lee
Steven J. Lee, M.D.
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Dr. Benjamin B. Bedford
Benjamin B. Bedford, M.D.
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Dr. Sergai N. DeLaMora
Sergai N. DeLaMora, M.D.
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Sameh Elguizaoui MD
Sameh Elguizaoui, M.D.
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Dr. Gregory Galano
Gregory Galano, M.D.
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Matthew Gotlin, M.D. NY Orthopedics
Matthew Gotlin, M.D.
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Dr. Teo Mendez
Matthew (Teo) Mendez-Zfass, M.D.
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Dr. Nicholas A. Wessling
Nicholas A. Wessling, M.D.
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Dr. John L. Xethalis
John L. Xethalis, M.D.
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