Labral Repair Specialist

David Lintner, MD

Sports Medicine Physicians & Orthopedic Surgeons located in Houston, TX & Baytown, TX

If you suffer from shoulder pain and/or instability due to a labrum tear, board-certified orthopedic surgeon David Lintner, MD, can help. He performs shoulder labral repair at two private practices in Houston and Baytown, Texas. As team physician for the Houston Astros and Houston Texans, Dr. Lintner has extensive experience with minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder surgery, including labral repair. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.

Labral Repair Q&A

What is labral repair?

Labral repair is a surgical treatment for a shoulder labral tear. The labrum is a rung of rubbery cartilage, similar to a gasket, that surrounds your shoulder socket (glenoid). 

This critical structure helps to stabilize your shoulder and serves as an attachment point for tendons and ligaments, including your biceps tendon. If the labrum tears or detaches from the glenoid, the tendons and ligaments also become detached. 

A labral tear causes shoulder instability, pain, and difficulty performing rotational movements like throwing and reaching overhead. Pitchers with a labral tear may notice a decrease in the velocity of their throw or experience arm weakness after throwing. 

Why would I need labral repair surgery?

Dr. Lintner always seeks to help patients avoid surgery whenever possible. He typically begins treating a labral tear with nonsurgical methods, such as physical therapy. 

If your shoulder pain and symptoms don’t go away with conservative treatment, he may recommend surgery. When surgery is necessary, Dr. Lintner uses minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques whenever possible.

What should I expect from labral repair surgery?

Depending on your specific injury, Dr. Lintner may perform an open or arthroscopic procedure. Arthroscopic surgery uses a thin, flexible camera and small instruments to repair your shoulder through tiny incisions. He may use absorbable sutures, screws, or tacks to repair the torn labrum. 

What is the recovery like after labral repair surgery?

Most patients go home the same day as their surgery. Dr. Lintner provides you with instructions on how to care for your shoulder at home. You may need to wear a sling to protect your shoulder for 2-6 weeks after surgery. 

After the initial pain and swelling pass, Dr. Lintner recommends a customized physical therapy and rehabilitation plan. This helps restore natural movement in your shoulder so you can return to your normal activities. 

Every patient is unique, but throwing athletes typically begin resuming activities about 3-4 months after labral repair surgery. Following your physical therapy plan is vital for a successful outcome.

To find out if labral repair surgery can improve your shoulder strength and relieve pain, call David Lintner, MD, or book an appointment online today.