What is a SLAP tear, and how is it treated?

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What Is a SLAP Tear?

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The socket or “cup” of the joint is very shallow.

The labrum is a rim of strong, fibrous tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint helping to deepen the cup and stabilize the joint.

When the top part of the labrum is injured, it can cause what is known as a SLAP tear.

Many SLAP tears occur as the result of a trauma such as an accident or forceful blow to the shoulder or if the shoulder is dislocated.

In other cases, the labrum is torn over time due to repetitive strain, repetitive overhead motions, heavy lifting, or arthritis within the shoulder joint itself that frays the labrum.

If you have a SLAP tear the symptoms can include:

Pain in the shoulder

A feeling of “locking” or “catching” in the shoulder

Pain when raising the shoulder overhead

Decreased range of motion

Decreased strength

The Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists at OrthoNeuro have helped thousands of patients with SLAP tears return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a variety of treatment options.

How Is a SLAP Tear Treated at OrthoNeuro?

The treatment options for a SLAP tear can vary based on the severity of the injury and your unique lifestyle. In most cases, your OrthoNeuro Specialist will begin with conservative treatment options to reduce pain and increase range of motion.

These treatment options can include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

If pain has not subsided within a few weeks, or damage to the labrum is severe, your OrthoNeuro Specialist may recommend an arthroscopic surgical procedure.  

These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis so that you can return home the same day as your procedure.

The goal of this procedure is to either trim the torn piece of the labrum or reattach the labrum using small sutures. 

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery. 

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Shoulder Specialist Today!

If 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 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you.

Shoulder Specialists

If you have severe shoulder pain and stiffness that prevents you from moving your shoulder correctly, call OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, or request an appointment online for expert orthopedic shoulder treatments.

Scott P. Stephens, MD

Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

Benjamin W. Szerlip, DO

Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

B. Rodney Comisar, MD, FAAOS

Orthopedic Surgeon

Jeremy R. Mathis, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Keith A. LaDu, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

8 weeks after bad rotator cuff surgery and I am doing well thank you for the great service