Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

The Glenoid Labrum

The Glenoid LabrumThe labrum is a cartilaginous structure attached to the rim of the glenoid. This structure helps maintain shoulder stability by creating a deep socket for the humeral head, allowing the arm and shoulder to move in all directions without dislocating. When part of the labrum is detached from the glenoid, the shoulder can dislocate and become unstable. Surgery is not always the answer for a torn labrum – oftentimes, physical therapy can adequately help regain function of the shoulder. However, persistent pain and instability despite conservative modalities, like physical therapy, is usually an indication that surgical intervention is necessary. There are different names for the surgical procedures that repair a torn labrum, depending on which part of the labrum is detached from the glenoid. A SLAP repair is used to repair the superior aspect of the labrum (11 to 1 on a clock face); a Bankart procedure reattaches the anterior aspect of the labrum (2 to 5 on a clock face) and a reverse Bankart reattaches the posterior aspect of the labrum (7 to 10 on a clock face).