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What is a SLAP Tear and How Do I Fix It?

Posted on: March 12th, 2020 by Our Team

A SLAP tear is one of the most common shoulder injuries. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest to repair in most cases. SLAP stands for superior labrum anterior and posterior. The labrum is the ring of soft tissue that surrounds the shoulder socket to keep it stable. A SLAP injury is one that affects a specific area of the labrum.

SLAP Tear Causes

Most SLAP injuries are caused by repetitive motion activities. These movements could be related to your occupation like working a cash register or construction equipment. Many sports require repetitive motions, such as pitching a baseball, swimming or playing tennis. Overhand actions tend to speed up the process of developing a SLAP tear.

Symptoms Of a Slap Tear

Clicking, popping, and grinding are often the first indicators of a problem in any joint, and the shoulder is no exception. However, there are other clues that something is wrong and you should see a specialist. The most common complaint is that of a deep, throbbing pain without an exact location. If you feel added pain or have decreased strength or range of motion when performing the same repetitive motions, then you may be suffering from a SLAP tear.

SLAP Tear Repair

A SLAP tear is always located at the top of the shoulder at both the front and back. The tendons connecting to the biceps are usually also involved. Most SLAP tears can be repaired with arthroscopic surgery. This is a minimally invasive surgery performed with long instruments that are inserted through small incisions. Each is equipped with a tool and a light. Your doctor can inspect the joint and repair the damage with just a few small incisions, which greatly reduces recovery time.

If you suspect you have a SLAP tear, or you are experiencing any shoulder discomfort, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Masi at OrthoSports today.

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