Labral repair surgery is a procedure performed to reverse the damage to the labrum, that is cartilage present in our shoulders. The labrum is essentially a thick tissue attached to the rim of the shoulder socket which helps keep the joint ball in its place. A labrum tear can occur in various forms, one where the labrum tears off completely from the bone, second is where the tear is within the substance of the labrum which happens when the labrum gets frayed over time, and the third is where the bicep tendon gets attached to the upper end of the socket.

A labrum tear can occur due to a sports injury to the shoulder often in the athletes who participate in sports like football, weightlifting and baseball or people who suffer injuries due to falls or motor accidents. A labral tear makes your shoulder stiff and painful and also tends to lock during movements. Most labral tears can be treated with non-surgical methods, but when the pain persists even post these treatments, then a labral surgery repair may be a necessary procedure.

Types of Labral Repair Surgeries

  1. SLAP Repair – SLAP is short for superior labrum from anterior to posterior, which means that the tear lengths from the front to the back of the shoulder socket. It occurs in the area where the bicep tendon connects with the shoulder socket. It is performed using shoulder arthroscopy, a nominally invasive surgical procedure performed to repair various painful disorders of the shoulder such as rotator cuff tendon tears, torn ligaments and bone spurs.
  2. Bankart Repair – A Bankart injury occurs when the ligaments are torn from the front of the socket. During this type of labral repair surgery, the torn labrum of the Bankart tear is reattached to the shoulder socket.
  3. Internal impingement Repair – This occurs when the underside of the rotator cuff is strained against the shoulder socket. The injury occurs when the arm is stretched all the way back in a throwing position. Gradually, the strain leads to a tear in the tendon on the back of the shoulder. 


The post-surgery recovery depends on factors like the location of the tear, the severity, and the quality of the surgical repair. The labrum to reattach to the bone on itself can take up to four to six weeks and another four to six weeks to regain its strength. 

Once the tear has healed, the strain applied on it should be gradual so that it has time to gain its strength back to normal. The doctor will suggest the period after which the patient can resume their sports activities and the intensities that they can safely practice.

Call us today for a consultation. Our very own specialist, Dr Reetadyuti Mukhopadhyay is at your service to assist you.