Treatment of a Labral Tear or SLAP Tear
Dr. Verma will discuss the treatment options after reaching a diagnosis. Several factors are taken into consideration such as age, athletic activity, prior treatement and type of tear.
If the injury is mild, the patient will most likely rest the shoulder, use ice and take anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy may also be recommended to help stretch and strengthen the shoulder.
If non-surgical treatments are not beneficial, Dr. Verma may recommend shoulder surgery to correct the labral or SLAP tear. These tears are almost always treated with arthroscopic surgery. The exact type of surgery will depend on the severity of the tear, condition of the biceps tendon and any other associated injuries.
There are three main surgical options for a SLAP tear in the shoulder:
- Debridement: The torn labrum is smoothed out during a debridement procedure. This shoulder surgery is recommended for stable SLAP lesions that do not involve the biceps tendon.
- SLAP repair: The labrum is reattached to the socket using strong sutures. This surgical option is normally reserved for young, overhead athletes who want to remain active in sports. A SLAP repair is the most common procedure for symptomatic SLAP lesions.
- Labrum Repair: Most commonly in the setting of instability, the labrum may be torn in the lower half of the socket. In this case a repair of the labrum is carried out to restore stability to the shoulder.
- Biceps tenodesis: This involves removing the injured biceps tendon from the torn labrum and reinserting it into a different area of the shoulder. By decreasing the pulling forces in the SLAP region, the troublesome symptoms will be alleviated.
For additional information on labral tears in the shoulder and SLAP tears in the shoulder, please contact the office of Dr. Nikhil Verma, orthopedic shoulder specialist in the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois area.