The outcome of an unrepaired labrum tear in the shoulder depends on the severity of the damage to the cartilage. If the injury is not severe, activity restrictions and physical therapy are often used before minor surgery, explains John Hopkins Medicine. If the shoulder tear is severe, however, leaving the torn cartilage untreated could cause repeated dislocations of the shoulder joint. This instability of the joint could affect the bicep muscle, rendering the arm useless, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Once the biceps and shoulder are damaged, surgery is required to make repairs. The procedure for repairing extensive tearing can involve sutures and wires to hold the shoulder joint together while it heals, as stated by the AAOS.