Understanding SLAP Violations | Updated 2023
Labrum is the ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket and helps hold the arm bone in the socket. The biceps tendon attaches at the top or top of the labrum. A SLAP tear refers to an injury to this upper part of the labrum. The tear occurs both anterior and posterior to the attachment point. Overhead and high-contact athletes are at greater risk of SLAP injuries.
The following risk factors are associated with SLAP injuries:
- motorcycle accident
- Fall on shoulder or outstretched arm
- lifting heavy objects
- Quick or forceful movement of the arm above shoulder height
- Repetitive overhead activities
- shoulder dislocation
signs and symptoms
The most common symptoms of a SLAP tear can be:
- Clicks, pops, crunches, or catches on the shoulder
- Pain when performing arm movements above head
- Pain when moving the shoulder in certain positions
- Weakness or instability in the shoulder
- Pain when lifting objects
- Reduced freedom of movement
- decreased shoulder strength
One should consult an orthopedist for SLAP tears.
Shoulder pain can occur for a variety of reasons and as such, it is difficult to identify a SLAP tear. The doctor will take the following steps to diagnose the disorder:
Story: The specialist analyzes information about the patient’s symptoms, previous injuries, treatments performed, activities that aggravate shoulder pain, and the exact location of the pain.
Physical examination: The doctor checks shoulder strength, stability, and range of motion by moving the arms into different positions. They may also examine the patient’s neck and head to make sure the pain isn’t due to a pinched nerve.
Exams: Imaging methods such as X-rays and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) provide information about bones and soft tissues. The doctor may suggest an MRI arthrogram, in which they inject a dye into the patient’s shoulder so that the tear is clearly visible on the MRI.
Available treatment modalities for managing the disorder
Initial treatment options for SLAP tear are mostly non-surgical and may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to relieve pain and swelling.
- Physiotherapy to restore movement and flexibility. Exercises suggested by the therapist include stretching the shoulder capsule and strengthening the rotator cuff muscles.
If nonsurgical options fail and pain persists, doctors may resort to arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgery that involves inserting a small camera into the shoulder joint to get a clear picture of the injury. The surgeon uses instruments and makes small incisions to repair the SLAP tear by removing the torn portion of the labrum or reattaching the torn section with the help of stitches. After surgery, the surgeon may wrap the patient’s arm in a sling to protect the labrum.
Shoulder arthroscopy is a safe operation and does not cause any major complications. However, there are always few potential risks associated with any surgery, such as: B. excessive bleeding, infection, shoulder stiffness, blood clots and damage to blood vessels or nerves.
Patients suffering from SLAP tear should take the following precautions:
- Do not lift heavy objects.
- Avoid or change activities that cause shoulder pain.
- Don’t indulge in overhead or contact sports
Diet and physical activity requirements
Patients suffering from a SLAP tear should not engage in heavy lifting, overhead arm activities, and other repetitive movements that can cause stress and abuse of the injured shoulder. If the doctor recommends wearing a sling, the patient should not lie on the operated arm. Instead, the patient should lie on their back or on the opposite side.
Preventing the occurrence or recurrence of the disorder
One should follow the steps listed below to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of a SLAP tear:
- Strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint as this will help maintain shoulder stability.
- Before you start exercising, do proper warm-up and stretching exercises.
- Use proper techniques when playing sports, especially falling techniques.
- Avoid walking on slippery surfaces to reduce the risk of falling.
Support and help from the caregiver
A SLAP tear can cause severe pain while performing simple activities such as dressing, cooking, and various other tasks of daily living. Caregivers should provide the patient with full support and assistance to cope with lifestyle changes, especially if the patient has undergone surgery.