SLAP Tear

Overview

This is a shoulder injury. It’s a tear of the labrum. That’s a ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket and helps hold the head of the humerus in place. This type of tear happens where the biceps tendon attaches to the labrum.

Causes

A SLAP tear can be caused by trauma to the shoulder. It can happen because of a road accident or a fall onto an outstretched arm. It can be caused by a forceful overhead motion, or when you try to catch something heavy. It can also be caused by repetitive motions. Throwing athletes and weightlifters can be injured this way.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include pain and loss of strength. You may not have your full range of motion. You may have popping, grinding or catching sensations when you move your arm. Your shoulder may feel unstable. And, it may be hard for you to lift and to throw.

Treatment

Treatment depends on your needs. Your shoulder may heal with rest, medications and physical therapy. Or, you may need surgery.