A Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior Tear (a SLAP Tear) refers to the damage of the top part of the labrum in your shoulder. Your labrum is a cup-shaped rim of fibrous tissue that helps to cushion the shoulder joint’s socket. It is responsible for stabilising the shoulder. The superior labrum is the part that is attached to your biceps’ tendon.

Causes  |  Symptoms  |  Treatment Options

What Causes a SLAP Tear?

SLAP tears are often the result of repetitive use of the shoulder. Through repetitive overhead use, the labrum may fray or detach. This is why athletes are more likely to suffer from SLAP tears.

What are the Symptoms of SLAP Tear?

If you are suffering from a SLAP tear, it is common to feel a deep pain within the shoulder. Additionally, patients often complain of weakness in the arm.

If you are suffering from a SLAP tear, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Deep, aching pain
  • Painful Clicking, Grinding, popping or locking sensation during rotational movement
  • Decreased shoulder strength
  • Limited range of motion

SLAP Tear Treatment

Similar to the other shoulder conditions mentioned above, there are both surgical and non-surgical treatment plans available for a SLAP Tear.


Non-surgical treatment of a SLAP tear includes anti-inflammatory drugs that will help with the pain and swelling of the injury. Additionally, you will be given a range of strengthening exercises to perform that should both restore your range of motion and strengthen the shoulder.


A surgical treatment plan for a SLAP tear repair is done arthroscopically, this is also referred to as keyhole surgery. During surgery, the torn part of the labrum is either removed entirely or reattached with stitches. Our doctors will determine which course of surgery is best for you.