Shoulder SLAP Tear

SLAP lesions represent tearing of the attachment of the biceps tendon and the underlying labrum from the glenoid bone. This injury is commonly produced by sudden pull on the arm when attempting to break a fall by grabbing onto a ledge or during extreme forces placed on the biceps attachment by overhead athletes.

SLAP Lesion Repair


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Shoulder SLAP Tear

The symptoms of this injury are vague pain deep inside the joint, clicking, popping, instability, and catching. MRI arthrogram (dye injected inside the shoulder joint prior to MRI) is helpful in diagnosing the injury. However, some lesions will go undetected until the time of arthroscopy. Treatment initially is aimed at reducing inflammation and regaining motion and strength. If patients remain symptomatic, then arthroscopic repair is performed using small arthroscopic instruments and suture anchors (metallic screws placed deep inside the bone with sutures attached to allow repair of the tissue). Patients wear a sling for one month and can return to non-contact sports in three weeks and contact sports in six weeks.

Shoulder SLAP Tear photo