What is a SLAP tear, and how is it treated?
Shoulder pain is very common. In many cases, your discomfort could result from a SLAP tear. This can especially be the case if you play sports.
Our board-certified orthopedic and sports medicine specialists have many years of experience assisting those with shoulder pain to return to a healthy and active lifestyle.
If you are seeking relief, schedule an appointment today at one of our many offices conveniently located throughout Greater Columbus.
A Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior tear, or a SLAP tear, is a shoulder injury. Your shoulder is considered a ball-and-socket joint. However, the shoulder socket is very shallow.
Thankfully, you have a strong rim of fibrous tissue, known as the labrum, that surrounds your shoulder joint, helping to deepen the socket and stabilize your upper arm bone.
Your labrum also connects your shoulder blade socket to one of your biceps tendons. If the top part of the labrum is injured, you may experience a SLAP tear.
Many SLAP tears (also known as SLAP lesions) result from repetitive motion with emphasis on rotation.
Specific examples of patients with this condition include throwing athletes, weightlifters, or professions that require heavy overhead lifting. They can also be the result of a traumatic injury.
Additionally, labrum tears can occur over time due to:
Common SLAP tear symptoms include:
To diagnose a SLAP tear accurately, your specialist will first review your medical history. Then they will perform a physical examination in which your shoulder and arm’s strength and range of motion will be checked.
Additionally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be requested to get a closer look at the soft tissue in your shoulder.
If left untreated, the symptoms of your SLAP injuries may intensify in severity. This can result in chronic pain and a decreased ability to use your arm and shoulder.
Your SLAP tear treatment options will vary based on the severity and location of the injury and your unique lifestyle goals.
Generally, in most cases, your OrthoNeuro specialist will begin with conservative treatment options to reduce your pain and increase your range of motion.
These conservative treatment options can include:
If your pain has not subsided within a few weeks, or the damage to the labrum is severe, your OrthoNeuro specialist may recommend an arthroscopic surgical procedure to bring you relief.
Arthroscopic surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day as your procedure.
This particular surgery aims to either trim the torn piece of the labrum or reattach the labrum using small sutures.
Thankfully, because of our advanced minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy technique, there is very little surgical trauma. This enables you to recover and return to normal activities shortly after your surgery.
If you suspect that you have been experiencing the symptoms of a SLAP tear, schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified orthopedic specialists at one of our many convenient locations throughout Columbus, Ohio.
We will make an accurate diagnosis and tailor a treatment plan that’s specific to your unique lifestyle and goals!
Medically reviewed by
OrthoNeuro Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon
Orthopedic Hand & Elbow Surgeon
Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon
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