Shoulder Labral Tear Specialist

Sports Medicine Physician

Are you an athlete who participates in sports that involve throwing overhead? If so, you may be at risk of developing a shoulder labral tear. A shoulder labral tear is a common injury sustained after a fall on an outstretched hand, from a sports injury or from natural degeneration of the labrum. Shoulder labral specialist, Dr. Mark Getelman provides diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Los Angeles who have sustained a shoulder labral tear. Contact Dr. Getelman’s team today!

An Overview on Shoulder Labral Tears and SLAP Tears

As a ball and socket joint, the shoulder is quite mobile and allows a smooth gliding surface when the arm is in motion. Shoulder pain and instability can occur if the labrum becomes damaged and tears from a fall or from degeneration. The labrum plays an important role in the shoulder’s anatomy by acting as an attachment site for a number of ligaments and tendons, as well as deepening the shoulder socket so the joint stays in position. Specializing in shoulder labral tears and SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior) tears, Dr. Mark Getelman is a highly recommended orthopedic shoulder specialist assisting patients in the Van Nuys, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles, California area.

A shoulder labral tear is a common injury sustained after a fall on an outstretched hand, from a sports injury or from natural degeneration of the labrum. Throwing and other overhead athletes are prone to this shoulder injury because of the repetitive shoulder movements involved. A SLAP tear, a tear that occurs in the top part of the labrum where the biceps tendon attaches, is often the result of labrum degeneration over time.

Shoulder labral tears can cause severe shoulder symptoms if the labrum becomes completely torn away from the bone after a shoulder dislocation, subluxation or other serious injury. Older patients may experience a tear within the structure of the actual labrum related to degeneration. This is generally caused by gradual wear and tear and leaves a rough, unsmooth edge.

Labral and SLAP Tear Symptoms

A shoulder labral tear and SLAP tear causes symptoms associated with a variety of other shoulder injuries, including shoulder pain, decrease in strength, decrease in range of motion and a feeling the shoulder joint may pop out of place. Shoulder pain is typically experienced when lifting objects, moving the shoulder and holding the shoulder in certain positions.

Labral and SLAP Tear Diagnosis

Dr. Getelman will review a patient’s medical history and perform a thorough physical examination to diagnose a tear. During the examination, he will check the injured shoulder’s stability, strength and range of motion with a variety of specific tests.  A series of X-rays will be obtained and an MRI may also be performed to obtain a clear and detailed view of the soft tissues and bones.

Have you sustained a labral tear?

Schedule an office consultation with Dr. Getelman today.

Labral and SLAP Tear Treatment

Dr. Getelman will recommend the proper treatment after a thorough review of the patients symptoms, age, tear severity, location, and the patient’s activity level.


Shoulder labral tear and SLAP tear treatment may begin with non-surgical measures to alleviate shoulder pain. These measures include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and a physical therapy rehabilitation program.


An arthroscopic procedure may be recommended if conservative measures fail or if the tear is too severe. Dr. Getelman will carefully examine the labrum and biceps tendon with the use of a tiny camera called an arthroscope. If damage is present in the labrum only and does not involve the stability of the joint, he will remove the torn flap of the labrum with special surgical tools. If the labrum is detached from its attachment site on the glenoid and the shoulder is unstable, the labrum will be repaired and/or reattached with strong sutures that allow the tissue to be secured to the bone for healing.

For more information on a shoulder labral tear or SLAP tear, or for additional resources on treating shoulder pain with minimally invasive surgery, please contact the Van Nuys and Westlake Village, California orthopedic office of Dr. Mark Getelman – shoulder specialist.