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"The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body."
-Nicole Burgbacher, PA-C

"Your shoulder consists of complex structures working together to provide movement necessary for daily life. Sometimes, this mobility comes at the expense of stability."

Imagine a young pitcher throwing strikes from a baseball mound at the local high school. This is the image of the "perfect" high school experience. Now imagine, that pitcher wincing in pain at every throw. Not quite so perfect.

"The main symptom of a labral tear is a sharp pop or catching sensation in the shoulder during certain shoulder movements," explains Nicole Burgbacher, a physician’s assistant with Orthopedic Associates of SW Ohio. Laberal tears can be accompany trauma to a shoulder such as a dislocation in football, basketball or wrestling. But, they are most common in sports where there are a lot of repetitive overhead movements: volleyball, weightlifters, softball and baseball.

There are a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical treatment options for laberal tears depending on the injury, pattern of the tear, age of the athlete and time of the season. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for you.

"It is important to note that not just athletes may have a labral tear," said Nicole. Many tears, may be the result of a wearing down of the labrum that occurs slowly over time. In patients over 40 years of age, tearing or fraying of the labrum can be seen as a normal process of aging.

Nicole Burgbacher is a physician assistant and sports medicine specialist with Orthopedic Associates of SW Ohio. We have offices throughout the Miami Valley region to provide convenient, high quality orthopedic care to the community.

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