Labral tear- SLAP lesion

SLAP lesion is a tear of the labrum or cartilage disc that encircles the “socket” of the shoulder. A tear can occur as a result of a single traumatic event. More commonly, though, a tear occurs as a result of chronic repetitive stress associated with an overhead sport such as pitching. A tear can lead to mechanical symptoms (popping, snapping) or it can lead to instability, where the shoulder is loose.

SLAP lesions are very much over-diagnosed and over-treated.

If you have pain at rest or at night, or pain with simple motions and stiffness, your pain is most likely NOT caused by a SLAP lesion.Many, many, many people have labral tears simply as a result of aging and use. These are painless in most cases, and usually do not require treatment.

SLAP lesions are important diagnostic considerations in younger patients with instability and difficulty throwing, pitching, slamming a volleyball, or similar activity.  IF you are a young overhead athlete A SLAP lesion may be responsible for your symptoms. If therapy and other non-operative treatments fail, then surgical repair should be considered.

For more information, visit a comprehensive labral tear discussion here

For a short video discussion on labral tears

Disclaimer:  this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.

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About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

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