Recognition of injuries of the shoulder labrum has developed in association with the advent of arthroscopy. Appropriate treatment requires an understanding of normal labral anatomy and function, as well as an appreciation for how alterations in anatomy may contribute to symptoms. Most published investigations include patients with other pathologic conditions, in addition to the labrum tears that were treated concomitantly. Debridement of a detached or torn labrum will not result in a successful outcome in patients with pathologic shoulder laxity. Treatment of superior labral tears with either debridement or repair, depending on type of injury, appears to result in a satisfactory outcome in most patients. The return to performance in athletes participating in overhead sports is less satisfactory.
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