A SLAP tear is a specific kind of injury to your shoulder.
You have a ring of firm tissue around your shoulder socket. This is called the labrum (say "LAY-brum"). The labrum helps keep your arm bone in the shoulder socket.
SLAP stands for "superior labrum, anterior to posterior." In other words, it is the top part of the labrum, from the front to the back. This is the part that is injured or torn in a SLAP injury.
You may get a SLAP tear if you:
Symptoms of a SLAP tear may include:
The first step is to see if pain medicine and rehabilitation (rehab) can help.
If over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) doesn't control your pain, your doctor may give you a prescription medicine.
Rehab includes doing a home exercise program, stretching, and avoiding activities that cause pain. If this doesn't help, your doctor may want you to go to a physiotherapist.
For many people, surgery is the only thing that helps. With arthroscopic surgery, the doctor can get a close look at the injury and also do some repairs.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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