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Slap Tear

SLAP stand for Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior, that is tear of the labrum from the upper end of the glenoid bone. The biceps muscle of the arm starts as a cord like structure from this location inside the shoulder joint. It then traverses the shoulder joint and exits at the bicipital groove.

Overhead and contact sports are common causes of SLAP tear. Fall on outstretched arm, repetitive overhead activities and lifting heavy objects are causes.

The patient’s history is of foremost importance. The presence of pain at certain activities is classical. Your doctor may perform some manouvers to confirm the diagnosis and to identify concomitant findings. The O’Briens test is a manoeuvre performed with the shoulder forward and inward with the fingers pointing downward. Pain on active resistance in this position is diagnostic of SLAP tear.

If conservative treatment fails, patients need arthroscopic debridement or repair of the SLAP tear with suture anchors.