Shoulder Labrum SLAP Tear: Causes, Signs, Analysis, Remedy


Except it causes you ache, you would possibly by no means give your shoulder’s labrum a thought. This thick band of tissue surrounds your shoulder socket and retains your shoulder joint steady. There are totally different sorts of labrum tears. A labrum SLAP tear occurs in a selected space.

Your shoulder has three bones: the scapula (shoulder blade), humerus (higher arm bone), and clavicle (collarbone). They work collectively in a ball-and-socket joint the place the arm connects to your trunk.

Your shoulder’s labrum isn’t a bone. It’s delicate tissue that helps join the socket a part of the scapula (referred to as the glenoid) with the top of the humerus. If the labrum tears, there’s not sufficient cushion between these bones. You even have a labrum in your hip sockets, which additionally acts like a connective cushion.

What ‘SLAP’ means

There are lots of totally different sorts of shoulder labrum tears. A labrum SLAP tear covers a selected space.

The higher, or superior, a part of your labrum attaches to your biceps tendon. In a labrum SLAP tear, SLAP stands for superior labrum anterior and posterior. This implies your labrum is torn on the prime in each the entrance (anterior) and again (posterior) of the place it attaches to the biceps tendon.


There are 3 ways to tear your labrum:

Overuse. Anybody who makes use of their shoulder to make the identical movement again and again can tear their labrum. You would possibly repeat an overhead movement at work or throughout exercise. Consider a weightlifter who jerks a barbell up time and again.

Damage. If you slip, it is regular to stretch out your arm to interrupt the autumn. The influence on the prolonged arm could cause a labrum SLAP tear. You can too tear your labrum in a automotive wreck, by dislocating your shoulder, or whereas doing one thing that pulls laborious in your arm.

Put on and tear. Automobile tires get worn down while you put a whole lot of miles on them, and so does your labrum. Day in and day trip, your labrum does a whole lot of work. For those who’re 40 or older, it’s a standard subject.


Most often, a labrum SLAP tear does not damage on a regular basis. The ache normally occurs while you use your shoulder to do a activity, particularly an overhead exercise. You may additionally discover:

  • A catching, locking, or grinding feeling
  • An unstable feeling within the shoulder
  • Lack of energy
  • Low vary of movement


There are other ways to tear your labrum and totally different locations the place it could actually tear. A labrum SLAP tear is simply a kind of methods, and the signs are sometimes related, so it may be laborious to diagnose.

Earlier than a bodily examination, your physician will ask questions on your signs, ache degree, and the place it hurts. If there is a particular damage or occasion that modified the best way your shoulder feels, inform your physician.

Throughout the bodily examination, your physician will transfer your arm and shoulder into totally different positions.

In case your physician guidelines out irritation or a pinched nerve, an X-ray or MRI is the following step. An X-ray cannot see your labrum, however it could actually present fractures that may trigger the ache. Your labrum will present up on an MRI. You would possibly must get a shot of dye in your shoulder for distinction.


Surgical procedure is normally not the primary remedy choice. Docs typically begin by prescribing anti-inflammatory medicine for ache and swelling. As soon as that is underneath management, your physician could suggest working with a bodily therapist or present you particular workout routines to construct your muscle mass again up.

If remedy and train do not assist sufficient, surgical procedure could also be the next move. The form of operation will depend on your damage, age, and the way energetic you’re.

Surgeons typically restore labrum SLAP tears with arthroscopy, wherein the physician makes and works by means of small cuts in your shoulder. They place a tiny digital camera in your shoulder joint. This sends photos to a much bigger display within the working room. Utilizing small instruments, your surgeon can trim the torn a part of your labrum, after which restore or reattach it.

Biceps Tenodesis is one other widespread surgical strategy for SLAP tears. The surgical procedure relocates your biceps tendon to your higher arm bone (humerus). It could be carried out relying on the age and exercise degree of the affected person.

Restoration After Surgical procedure

Count on to be in a sling for a month or so to maintain your arm nonetheless. After the swelling has gone down, you’ll be able to transfer it once more with steerage from a bodily therapist.

Relying in your age and the extent of your tear, it might take 2 months to your labrum to heal and one other 2 months to construct up the identical energy you felt earlier than the tear.

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