Top of the page
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. One of the biceps tendons attaches onto the labrum. 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.
If you keep having pain even after rehab, you may need to see an orthopedic surgeon (a surgeon who repairs bones and joints). You may need to have more imaging and diagnostic tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or injections to help find out if surgery would be helpful.
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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter V849 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Shoulder SLAP Tear".
Adaptation Date: 5/19/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 2006-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.