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SLAP lesions

A SLAP ( Superior Labrum tear from Anterior to Posterior) lesion is an injury to the labrum of the shoulder. The labrum is a sleeve of connective tissue that surrounds the joint and is vital for stability of your shoulder. The long head of biceps tendon attaches into the top of this. Some people can injure this through a specific trauma whereas others have a ‘degenerative’ tear from persistent forces being put through the labrum in this area.

Do I have a SLAP Lesion?


Most people who have a SLAP tear typically complain of a ‘deep’ vague pain within the shoulder joint. They are usually people who do lots of overhead activity or have fallen on their arm. This is more common in baseball players due to the forces put through the shoulder while pitching.

Treatment


If you have been diagnosed with a SLAP lesion then it is worth discussing this with an orthopaedic surgeon. If your injury is due to a trauma then you may benefit from this being surgically repaired. If your injury came on gradually- with no trauma- physiotherapy should be your first port of call. An extensive rehab programme focused on shoulder capsule stretching and strengthening your rotator cuff would be of high value. If this fails then you can opt for a repair at a later date though general consensus now is that it should not be your first port of call.

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