slap tear anatomy shoulder

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

SLAP is an acronym for superior labrum anterior to posterior. The labrum is a rim of tissue that adds depth to the bony socket of the shoulder. The superior or « top » portion or the labrum is important and frequently injured because the biceps attaches to this region.

How

SLAP tears happens because of physical activity with repetitive overhead movements or physical shock. Tears created because of overhead movements are common among athletes as basball pitchers or tennis players. Tears created due to physical shocks are often a fall on a hand stretched with the arm over the head or fall directly on the shoulder.

Diagnosis

slap tear anatomy shoulder

SLAP tears are very difficult to diagnose only with a physical exam because of different shoulder problems. Using a MRI with or without contrast helps a lot.

Treatment

The first step is to do a nonsurgical treatment. While the SLAP tear likely will not heal, a study confirmed that many have improvement of symptoms and function. If nonsurgical treatment (such as physical therapy) isn’t successful, surgery is being considered.

Surgery is usually done arthroscopically and involves reattaching the torn labrum to the top of the cavity. Generally, bone anchors loaded with sutures are inserted into the top of the cavity. The sutures are passed through the torn area of the labrum. The sutures are tied, which brings the torn labrum to the bone.

Prevention

Although it’s difficult to avoir acute SLAP tears, it’s possible to prevent chronic tears, especially with athletes who make overhead movements, maintaining balance in the shoulder.

Exercices that strengthen the muscles around the shoulder blades and exercises that stretch posterior shoulders are recommended to reduce the risk of SLAP chronic tears.

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-Steph

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