- Gordon Avery, MD, specializes in shoulder injuries and practices out of our Arlington and Tysons Corner offices.
A SLAP tear is an injury to the labrum of the shoulder, which is the ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint.
The term SLAP stands for Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior. In a SLAP injury, the top (superior) part of the labrum is injured. This top area is also where the biceps tendon attaches to the labrum. A SLAP tear occurs both in front (anterior) and back (posterior) of this attachment point. The biceps tendon can be involved in the injury, as well.
The common symptoms of a SLAP tear are similar to many other shoulder problems. They include:
- A sensation of locking, popping, catching, or grinding
- Pain with movement of the shoulder or with holding the shoulder in specific positions
- Pain with lifting objects, especially overhead
- Decrease in shoulder strength
- A feeling that the shoulder is going to "pop out of joint"
- Decreased range of motion
- Pitchers may notice a decrease in their throw velocity, or the feeling of having a "dead arm" after pitching
A MRI is often needed to make a diagnosis.
For more information about the treatments and recovery of a SLAP tear please go to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website.