"Mighty Mouse" Has Repair of Torn Labrum

Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson was forced to pull out of his April UFC flyweight title defense fight vs John Moraga due to a torn labrum.  He was due to have surgery Thursday March 6.  (As is often the case, information about which shoulder was injured is difficult to locate.)  In this article, I will show you where and what the labrum is, what it does and how it was possibly affecting Johnson’s striking ability. 

The labrum (labeled “G” in the picture below) is a ring of cartilage that lines the rim of the shoulder socket.  The socket is referred to as the glenoid (labeled “F”).  This picture is a view from the side, with the arm removed.image

One of the primary functions of the labrum is to help stabilize the shoulder joint.  It does this by forming a suction seal between the glenoid and the head of the shoulder bone (the humerus).  The labrum also serves to deepen the shoulder socket.

A tear to the labrum can disrupt this stabilizing force for the shoulder joint, possibly leading to a mild degree of instability.  The shoulder is a very mobile joint, and the primary stabilizers for the shoulder joint are the rotator cuff muscles and the various ligaments of the shoulder.  However, the labral tear can be enough to disrupt the normal function of the shoulder.  For a MMA athlete, this leads to a cascade of events:

  1. Pain and possible instability of the shoulder.
  2. Over time, pain can lead to strength loss of the important rotator cuff muscles.
  3. A weakened, unstable shoulder cannot effectively transmit forces from the legs and trunk to the arm and hand, as occurs during striking.
  4. Punches become ineffective.

The labral tear was obviously enough to disrupt Johnson’s normal training regimen.  His recovery from surgery will include a period of immobilization to allow for soft tissue healing, and he will gradually work back into a program of shoulder strengthening and stabilization exercises. This will likely be followed by advanced exercises aimed at restoring punching power.

Questions? You can ask me here or on Twitter @mmainjury.

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