SLAP Tear

What is SLAP Tear?

SLAP Tear stands for ‘Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior Tear’. The labrum is a thick band of soft tissue at the border of your shoulder socket, and it keeps your shoulder joint stable.

If the labrum tears due to injury or wear and tear, there is not enough cushioning between the scapula and humerus. Hence, this leads to pain and weakness in the shoulder.

SLAP Tear

What is SLAP Tear?

SLAP Tear stands for ‘Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior Tear’. The labrum is a thick band of soft tissue at the border of your shoulder socket, and it keeps your shoulder joint stable.

If the labrum tears due to injury or wear and tear, there is not enough cushioning between the scapula and humerus. Hence, this leads to pain and weakness in the shoulder.

Causes and Symptoms of SLAP Tear

Causes

  • Age
    Labrum tears are common in patients above the age of 40 due to wear and tear.
  • Sports
    Repetitive overhead sports such as throwing and weight-lifting.
  • Falls/ Accidents
    When breaking a fall, most people tend to stretch out their arms. However, the impact will cause the labrum to tear.

Symptoms

  • A catching and grinding feeling in the shoulder
  • Shoulder feeling unstable
  • A weakness of the shoulder

How is it diagnosed?

Physical examination
The orthopaedic surgeon will check your range of shoulder motion to see how far you can move your shoulder. He will also try to rule out other causes of pain in the shoulder.

Imaging tests
You may have to go for an MRI scan, X-ray, or an ultrasound to rule out other problems such as arthritis and rotator cuff tears.

We provide consultation for shoulder arthritis cases

How is it diagnosed?

Physical examination
The orthopaedic surgeon will check your range of shoulder motion to see how far you can move your shoulder. He will also try to rule out other causes of pain in the shoulder.

Imaging tests
You may have to go for an MRI scan, X-ray, or an ultrasound to rule out other problems such as arthritis and rotator cuff tears.

We provide consultation for shoulder arthritis cases

Treatment Options

In most cases, you can recover from a SLAP tear through physiotherapy. However, if the SLAP tear is more severe, surgery may be the best option. Discuss with an orthopaedic surgeon to determine which treatments are most suitable for you.

Keep in mind that if your condition requires surgery, your Orthopaedic Surgeon should always educate you on:

  • Risks of the surgery
  • How to prepare for a surgery
  • What will be required for post-op care

Physiotherapy
Targeted strength and flexibility exercises can help to alleviate pain and improve function of the shoulder.

Medications
Medications may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms (e.g. anti-inflammatory, paracetamol).

Arthroscopy/ Key-hole surgery
A small incision will be made in your shoulder to trim your torn labrum, followed by repairing and re-attaching it.
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Disclaimer

Shoulder | Elbow Orthopaedic Group does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians that are referenced in this article. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her Orthopaedic Surgeon.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

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