If you have a shoulder labrum tear in our opinion try stem cells if you live in Minnesota, before trying surgery.
Biochk will cover the various typical ways people may try to deal with the pains associated with a shoulder injury that includes a labrum tear, but when you weigh the pros and cons of the options we believe that you too will soon see that it just makes sense to at least learn more about how joint therapy options like regenerative cellular therapy just makes sense.
So if you live in Minnesota, listen up and after you read this you should give us a call. Let’s dig in.
The shoulder labrum is the fibrocartilage that helps keep the ball of the joint in place. When this rubbery tissue that is on the rim of the shoulder socket gets torn you experience pain and loose stability of the joint. This can be the result of an injury or just age.
Three main types of tears can occur in your labrum:
- “SLAP” tear: This is when the tear occurs above the middle of the glenoid. SLAP stands for “superior to labrum, anterior to posterior,” which in simple terms means front to back. This type of tear is common in athletes, like baseball players, who use their arm overhead a lot.
- Bankart tear: This is when the tear occurs in the lower half of the glenoid socket. This is a common injury in young people with dislocated shoulders.
- Posterior tear: Lastly, this type of tear happens at the back of the shoulder joint. This is the least common type of shoulder labrum tear, making up only 5-10% of shoulder injuries.
Symptoms of a Labrum Tear
As we mentioned, shoulder tears are usually just as painful as they sound. If any part of your labrum tears, you may feel the following:
- Decreased range of motion
- Loss of strength
- Pain during activities
- Increased pain in the evening
Shoulder labrum tears are commonly associated with other shoulder injuries, like a rotator cuff injury, dislocated shoulder, or a torn biceps tendon. When you tear your shoulder labrum, you’ll likely not know exactly what type of injury you’ve suffered until you see your doctor for testing and evaluation.
How is a Labrum Tear Diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms and you suspect that you’ve torn your labrum, you need to visit your doctor ASAP to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan before your situation worsens.
Your doctor will test your range of motion in your shoulder and arm, check your stability, and inquire about your level of pain. If you can pinpoint a cause, your doctor will need to know so that they can better understand how the injury occurred.
Unfortunately, the labrum tissue is too soft to show up in X-rays, but your doctor may still order one to see if they are other injuries contributing to your pain. Your doctor may also order a CT scan or MRI as well to get a closer look at the shoulder.
Some doctors will even use an arthroscopic camera to get a detailed view of your labrum injury. This camera is inserting through a small incision in your skin and can be done right in your doctor’s office.
What’s The Most Effective Treatment Method?
Definitively pinpointing the most effective treatment method for a shoulder labrum tear is tough because each injury and each patient is different.
That being said, here are the most common treatment methods:
It’s estimated that about 15% of the US population takes an anti-inflammatory (NSAID) regularly. In all, there are about 30 billion doses taken each year. That’s a LOT of pain medication.
Clearly, this type of medication is very popular for treating pain related to all kinds of conditions, but the problem is that these medications are incredibly risky and can bring on a whole host of other negative side effects.
No medication is entirely safe, we know that, and this is definitely true of NSAIDs. Here are the most common side effects you’ll experience with these pills:
- Upset stomach
- Kidney injury
- Liver problems
- Increased chances for heart problems
- And more!
The longer you take these pain killers, the worse your side effects. And the problem expands even further when you begin taking a dosage beyond what’s recommended.
Looking at the bigger picture, taking an anti-inflammatory medication, whether over the counter or prescription, may provide you with short-term pain relief. But what happens when it no longer does that? Worse yet, when you experience secondary symptoms due to over-usage? You’re left with the same pain you started with plus additional damage to your body.
Cortisone shots are often recommended by doctors and medical professionals as a treatment similar to pain pills—they’re designed to help stop the pain that’s causing your disability.
These injections are a mixture of a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic and they’re commonly used to treat joint injuries, like a shoulder labrum tear.
There are limits to the number of cortisone shots that you can receive because there’s proof that these shots damage the cartilage in your joint. Therefore, doctors are forced to limit the number of cortisone shots into your joint. But really, who’s to say when enough is enough?
As a general rule, doctors will limit your cortisone injects to no more than once every six weeks and not more than three or four per year.
In addition to the fact that these injections are known to cause your cartilage to break down prematurely, here are the other side effects that you should be aware of:
- Death of nearby bone
- Joint infection
- Nerve damage
- Facial flushing
- Pain and inflammation in the joint
- Increased blood sugar
- Tendon weakening or even rupture
- Thinning of nearby bone
- Thinning of skin and soft tissue near the injection site
- Lightening of the skin near the injection site
- Physical TherapyWe’re just going to come right out and say it; physical therapy is torture! Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of completing a grueling course of physical therapy will tell you that it was tough in more ways than one.Think about how bad your shoulder hurts right now. Now imagine someone taking ahold of your shoulder and cranking it around in directions that feel flat out inhumane. And doing that two to three times per week for months.That’s what you can expect from physical therapy for your shoulder labrum tear. Now, don’t get us wrong, we think physical therapy is a wonderful modality and it’s vital in many circumstances. That said, it’s also hell.It would be one thing if going through the pain and torture of physical therapy could guarantee a cure or even a positive outcome at the end, but the truth is, it may work, and it may not. It depends on the person and the injury.Physical therapy is designed to help stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding your shoulder labrum, thereby encouraging the entire region to make positive gains. But physical therapy has no way of actually healing your tear.So, you can do all the painful stretching and exercises you want, but your shoulder will always be torn. Again, this is a short-term solution for a long-term problem, and results are generally not favorable.
Shoulder Labrum Surgery
Ah surgery, the last resort option that’s quickly becoming as routine as a pedicure. We all know the risks of surgery and going under anesthesia, up to and including the fact that you could go under and never wake back up. Here are some other, less intense, but still scary as heck risks to shoulder labrum surgery:
- Infection: Infections are a serious concern in any type of surgery, whether a major procedure or a minor one. Even the most cautious medical team can inadvertently expose your open body to the bacteria that are present all over the place in our environment.
- Nerve injury: There are a number of major nerves that surround your shoulder joint. Nerves can easily be injured by doctors’ instruments working inside your shoulder or by instruments being inserted too close to your nerves. Nerve damage is often irreversible and can result in loss of use or feeling of certain body parts.
- Frozen shoulder: Following shoulder surgery, you’re required to immobilize your joint to allow for proper healing. The problem is that this causes many patients to develop a frozen shoulder, where excess scar tissue forms around the shoulder joint and makes it nearly impossible to move your shoulder. This is corrected with intense (torturous) physical therapy.
- Chondrolysis: This is a rare, but very dangerous complication to shoulder surgery. This is causes damage to the cartilage of the joint surface and can lead to arthritis in your shoulder. This is especially detrimental to young patients and athletes because it can lead to permanent problems with the shoulder that the patient may never be able to recover from.
Regenerative medicine (stem cell shots)-Minnesota
Pain medications and cortisone shots are usually prescribed for those who suffer from minor tears that can be healed on their own if the shoulder is allowed to rest. Your doctor may recommend a sling to keep your shoulder in place and encourage you to avoid using it.
For more serious injuries, your doctor may recommend surgery to fix the tear. Surgery may correct the issue, however, there are several risk factors and the recovery time can take 9-12 months, which is very disheartening for those who are looking to get back to daily activities or sports quickly.
Stem cell shots, while still relatively new to the medical world, have proven to be a safe and reliable way to effectively repair the injured joint with little to no pain and recovery time. Everyone from athletes who need to get back out on the field quickly to the elderly who want to enjoy their last years to the fullest is opting for this all-nature treatment method and seeing amazing results.
Is Stem Cell Treatment For Shoulder Labrum Tears Right for You?
The joint therapy options we provide, while very promising, are not a magic elixir. Without giving false hope, we can confidently say that It’s a viable option to safely and effectively way to help joint damage.
If you’re looking to get more information about stem cell treatments and if it’s a smart treatment option for you, give us a call or attend one of our seminars to find out more!