We hear from people in Illinois looking for workers’ compensation advice related to the painful labrum tears that they suffered on the job. Some have a torn shoulder labrum and others have a torn hip labrum.

In the shoulder, the labrum is a thick piece of tissue or cartilage that is attached to the rim of the shoulder socket. It helps keep the ball of the joint in place and stabilizes your upper arm bone within the joint. In the hip, the labrum follows the outside rim of the hip socket and similarly, helps keep the ball of the joint in place and stabilizes your thighbone within the joint.

This type of shoulder injury can happen at work by falling on your arm, a direct hit to your shoulder, a sudden pull when picking up a heavy item, or by trying to stabilize yourself during a fall. Simple overuse of your shoulder can cause a labrum tear as well.

Pain would likely be the first symptom that you notice. If your shoulder is hurting, catching, making noises, and you feel a loss of strength or range of motion, or it just feels unstable, you may have a labrum tear. If you fell down and your arm dislocated, then the ball of the shoulder actually pushed the labrum off of the socket. This is called a Bankart or Perthes lesion.

If you believe you have a torn shoulder labrum caused by a work injury, the first thing you should do is see a doctor. The doctor will do a physical examination as well as X-rays. He/she may also order a CT scan or an MRI to help look for the tear. Once a tear is found, the treatment will be determined based on the tear type, severity, and location. Treatment may involve anything from physical rehabilitation to surgery to repair the damage. If surgery is required, you may need 12 weeks of recovery time; however, if you use your arm a great deal, it could be many months. If you are a baseball pitcher, for example, it could end your career. If you are a carpenter or work a heavy-duty labor job, it may also end your career or force you into a job change.

Torn hip labrum injuries can result from similar accidents at work or overuse. If you have fallen on your hip, or if you do repetitive motions like twisting, you could be at risk for a labrum tear of the hip. The symptoms are similar to those of a torn shoulder labrum. Pain, grinding and other noises, and limited range of motion are all indicators that you should see a doctor. The doctor will examine you and order X-rays, and possibly a CT scan or an MRI to find the tear. Once the tear has been identified, what type it is, where it is, and how severe it is will dictate the type of treatment the doctor recommends. Basic physical therapy might be all you need, or you may need surgery to repair or replace the torn piece of the labrum. This type of surgery could require 8-12 weeks of recovery time or even longer.

If you have injured your hip or your shoulder at work, make sure you go to the doctor as soon as possible. It is critical that you explain your injury happened at work. After that, it’s important to get timely treatment so your injury doesn’t get worse.

We realized some of this medical jargon may be complex. It all boils down to getting the medical care you need and making sure workers compensation will pay for your medical bills and lost wages. And of course, we can get you a settlement at the end of the case. For free advice regarding your specific situation, contact us at 312-346-5578. We help with work injuries everywhere in Illinois.