Shoulder: SLAP Tear


Lining the shoulder socket and extending beyond it is the labrum, a soft-fiber tissue rim providing support to the shoulder joint. A SLAP (Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior) tear is a specific type of injury to the labrum where it attaches to the bicep. This injury can occur from repetitive movement or from a trauma, such as a fall, heavy lifting or jerking.    

 




Signs and symptoms of an SLAP Tear may include:
  • Pain in front of shoulder or deep in joint
  • Sensation of the joint catching or grinding
  • Pain with overhead movement
Self-Care

The doctor may recommend limiting activities that involve overhead motion and resting the shoulder to allow the tissue to heal.

Medications

Anti-Inflammatory medications may reduce pain and inflammation associated with this injury.

Injections

Corticosteroid injections to the affected portion of the shoulder can provide short-term pain relief and reduced inflammation, when medication is ineffective or not an option.

Physical Therapy

Certified Physical Therapists work closely with doctors to create an individualized program to maximize healing and restore function, strength and mobility.

Surgery

When conservative treatment fails, surgery may be recommended to address the injury. SLAP tears can be repaired using debridement (smoothing out the damaged edge), SLAP repair (arthroscopically secures the torn labrum to shoulder socket) or Biceps tenodesis (decreases pressure on the SLAP region).

SLAP Lesion Repair

Diagnostic Shoulder Arthroscopy