Shoulder Pain? Receive Treatment for a SLAP Tear Near Marlboro, NJ

Woman on tennis court rubbing her painful shoulder

A superior labral anterior to posterior (SLAP) tear is a shoulder injury that affects the labrum, a cup-shaped rim of cartilage that lines and reinforces the joint socket. The tear occurs at the top (superior) of the labrum at the point where it connects to the biceps tendon.

Most SLAP tears develop slowly with repetitive overhead movements, such as pitching a baseball or serving a tennis ball. This type of injury can also occur suddenly through direct trauma, such as a fall onto an outstretched arm. It can also result from the natural aging process; like all cartilage found throughout the body, the labrum can gradually break down and eventually fray or tear.

What Are the Symptoms of a SLAP Tear?

In addition to aching pain deep within the shoulder, some common signs of a SLAP tear include:

  • Intensified pain with overhead movements
  • A catching, popping, or grinding sensation (crepitus) in the shoulder
  • Reduced range of motion in the shoulder joint
  • Decreased strength in the shoulder and arm
  • Loss of throwing control or velocity
  • A sensation of shoulder instability, as if the upper arm bone is about to pop out of its socket

The shoulder specialists at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute (AOSMI) diagnose and treat a wide range of orthopedic conditions at our sports injury clinic near Marlboro, New Jersey. When you turn to us with a possible SLAP tear, we will perform diagnostic testing to pinpoint the cause of your shoulder pain, then provide effective treatment to help you recover quickly and safely.

How Is a SLAP Tear Treated?

Many SLAP tears can be treated conservatively. Depending on the extent of the damage, a shoulder specialist at AOSMI may suggest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and ice applications to reduce painful swelling. When comfort allows, physical therapy can be started to strengthen the muscles that support the shoulder, which can enhance joint function and range of motion.

If SLAP tear symptoms do not improve with nonsurgical treatment, cartilage repair surgery may be considered. This procedure may involve reattaching or removing the torn portion of the labrum or moving the attachment site for the biceps tendon to a more secure location.

If you think you might have a SLAP tear, turn to the experienced team at Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our sports injury clinic near Marlboro, NJ.