Proliance Surgeons
Grant H. Garcia, MD

Grant H. Garcia, MD Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist View Profile

Grant H. Garcia, MD

Grant H. Garcia, MD Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist View Doctor Profile

SLAP Tears

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SLAP Tears

 

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. A 'ball' at the top of the upper arm bone (the humerus) fits neatly into a 'socket', called the glenoid, which is part of the shoulder blade (scapula). The term SLAP (superior –labrum anterior-posterior) lesion or SLAP tear refers to an injury of the superior labrum of the shoulder. The labrum is a ring of fibrous cartilage surrounding the glenoid for stabilization of the shoulder joint. The biceps tendon attaches inside the shoulder joint at the superior labrum of the shoulder joint. The biceps tendon is a long cord-like structure which attaches the biceps muscle to the shoulder and helps to stabilize the joint.

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Causes

The most common causes include falling on an outstretched arm, repetitive overhead actions such as throwing, and lifting a heavy object. Overhead and contact sports may put you at a greater risk of developing SLAP tears.

Symptoms

The most common symptom is pain at the top of the shoulder joint. In addition, catching sensation and pain most often with activities such as throwing may also occur.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made based on the symptoms and physical examination. A regular MRI scan may not show up a SLAP tear and therefore an MRI with a contrast dye injected into the shoulder, is ordered. The contrast dye helps to highlight SLAP tears.

Treatment

Your doctor may recommend anti- inflammatory medications to control pain. In athletes who want to continue their sports, arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder may be recommended. Depending on the severity of the lesion, SLAP tears may simply require debridement or some may need to be repaired. A SLAP repair can be done using arthroscopic techniques that require only two or three small incisions.

Regular exercises that make the shoulder muscles strong should be done. Adequate warm-up exercises before activities and avoiding high contact sports can help prevent injuries that cause instability.

 


Articles

Biceps Tenodesis for Superior Labrum Anterior-Posterior Tear in the Overhead Athlete: A Systematic Review

Background: Superior labrum anterior-posterior (SLAP) lesion is a common shoulder injury, particularly in overhead athletes. While surgical management has traditionally consisted of SLAP repair, high rates of revision and complications have led to alternative techniques, such as biceps tenodesis (BT). While BT is commonly reserved for older nonoverhead athletes, indications for its use have expanded in recent years.

  • Brown University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Cornell University
  • Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists