SLAP Tear Treatment Near Manalapan, NJ

Young man serving tennis ball

A painful shoulder injury, a SLAP tear affects the labrum, a cup-shaped rim of cartilage that cushions and reinforces the joint socket (glenoid). The tear occurs in the upper (superior) part of the labrum at the point where it attaches to the biceps tendon. SLAP is short for “superior labrum anterior and posterior (to the biceps tendon).” This type of injury may occur suddenly with a direct blow to the shoulder, or it can develop gradually through repetitive overhead arm motions, such as those involved in serving a tennis ball or pitching a baseball.

The shoulder specialists at Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute (AOSMI) provide the latest treatment options for SLAP tears near Manalapan, New Jersey. Most patients begin with a regimen of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) followed by a customized physical therapy program to strengthen the shoulder and restore its range of motion. If the symptoms do not improve with conservative therapies, surgical SLAP tear treatment may be considered.

What Does a Surgical SLAP Tear Repair Involve?

The optimal surgical approach for repairing a SLAP tear can vary depending on several factors. For instance, a surgeon may perform an arthroscopic procedure to reattach or remove the damaged portion of the labrum or create a more secure attachment point for the biceps tendon. In general, when repairing a SLAP tear, the surgeon will:

Access the Shoulder Joint

After making a few small incisions, the surgeon will insert a miniature camera through one incision and use the other incisions as access points for specialized surgical tools. The camera will capture high-definition images of the interior of the shoulder joint and send those images directly to a nearby monitor so the surgeon can view them while operating.

Place Anchors

Guided by real-time imagery, the surgeon will remove loose tissue from the shoulder joint and create a small hole in the glenoid near the tear. In the newly created hole, the surgeon will place a tiny anchor tied to a suture. A severe tear may require the placement of multiple anchors.

Repair the Torn Labrum

The surgeon will then tie each suture around the torn labrum. The goal of an arthroscopic SLAP tear repair is to firmly reattach the torn labrum to the glenoid.

Talk With an Experienced Shoulder Surgeon

If you would like to learn more about SLAP tear treatment, you can consult with a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic shoulder surgeon at AOSMI. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an orthopedic specialist at our location near Manalapan, NJ.