Top board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Tehrany keeps his NYC and Staten Island patients well-informed on the symptoms and treatment options for superior labrum tears.

SLAP Tear Overview

This condition is a tear of the labrum in the shoulder joint. The labrum is a ring of cartilage around the shoulder socket that stabilizes the head of the humerus. A SLAP tear occurs at the point where the biceps tendon attaches to the labrum. This injury makes arm and shoulder movement painful, can affect movement, and cause weakness in the arm and hand.

Causes of a Shoulder Labral Tear

SLAP tears can be caused by trauma to the shoulder, or by repetitive motions, such as continuous throwing (baseball) or lifting (weight lifting). Some examples of trauma that may cause a superior labrum anterior and posterior tear include:

  • Falling onto an arm while it is outstretched
  • Forceful movement of the arm above shoulder level
  • A dislocated shoulder
  • When the arm is pulled with significant force

Wear and tear on the labrum also causes common issues for people over the age of 40 years.

Symptoms of a Torn Labrum

Unless pain is experienced in the shoulder, patients often think nothing of the symptoms associated with a superior labrum tear. Symptoms of a SLAP tear include:

  • A feeling of instability in the shoulder
  • A decreased range of motion
  • Experiencing a locking or grinding sensation
  • Reduced strength in the shoulder and arm

The diagnosis of a SLAP lesion tear is complex and is often not picked up during MRI or CT scans. Thus, consulting with an experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder injuries in Staten Island and New York is paramount to your healing.

Treatment Options For Labrum Tear Repair

SLAP tear treatment options depend on the type of tear, and this can be categorized into three main types of tears.

  1. Torn off the bone completely
  2. Torn along the labrum edge
  3. Torn at the attachment point of the bicep tendon

Your orthopedic surgeon may request magnetic resonance imaging or CT scans to determine the extent of your injury. They may also do arthroscopic surgery during which a tiny camera is inserted through a small incision to have a look inside your ball and socket joint.

Treatment options may include:

  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cortisone injections
  • Physical therapy

If the tear does not heal, shoulder surgery for labrum tear repair may be needed, such as bicep tendinosis, debridement, or SLAP repair arthroscopic surgery. Your orthopedic specialist will discuss their treatment recommendations with you in detail and should inform you of the expected outcome, recovery period, and risks and side effects associated with surgical treatment.

Consult Staten Island’s Trusted Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Tehrany is a recognized orthopedic specialist in shoulder injuries and conditions. He is a board-certified sought-after New York orthopedic surgeon who is widely published as a contributing expert to a number of journal articles. Book your appointment at Manhattan Orthopedic Care and consult with Dr. Armin M. Tehrany for SLAP tear diagnosis and treatment.