For most SLAP tears, conservative management is often effective in alleviating symptoms and improving function. Anti-inflammatory medication and periodic icing may be used to help alleviate some of the symptoms. Following diagnosis, rehabilitation exercises may also be administered to help strengthen the rotator cuff and correct shoulder blade mechanics. If patients continue to experience symptoms despite conservative management, surgery may be recommended.
Surgical treatment of labrum tears would include debridement, repair, or biceps tenodesis. For anterior and posterior labrum tears associated with instability or dislocation, repair is typically performed arthroscopically. For SLAP tears which involve the top portion of the labrum where the biceps tendon attaches, repair is typically reserved for young patients with tears due to trauma or participation in overhead sports. For most other patients, SLAP tears can be effectively treated by releasing the biceps tendon from the torn labrum, and reattaching the biceps tendon lower down on the humerus bone. This individualized approach to the treatment of labrum tears leads to decreased pain and improved function in the long term for the majority of patients.
A SLAP Lesion Repair is a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure which uses a tiny camera and miniature surgical instruments to repair the damaged area. Shoulder arthroscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny camera to examine or repair damaged tissue in or around the shoulder joint. Arthroscopic procedures are less invasive than traditional surgery, resulting in less pain and swelling, and a quicker recovery. The video below will demonstrate the procedure.