SLAP Tear Surgery

May 24, 2012No comments

SLAP Tear Surgery

The human body is big mass of matter composed of different organs that function differently, and all these organs are encased in thick or thin layers of muscles and skin. It is the muscles in us that help the body move with enough flexibility to accomplish different things and feats. But when a muscle, a tendon or a cartilage is torn, from overuse or for some injurious reasons, then it can be rather damaging; some of those injuries might even require surgery. One such injury is what they call the SLAP tear, which is also the acronym for “Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior”. This is an injury mostly commonly inflicted on the labrum of the shoulder.

SLAP tear surgery

Since the shoulder is a ball and socket joint, a ring of tough fibrous tissues called the labrum surrounds the socket joint of the shoulder to help stabilize the head of that particular socket joint and prevent it from dislocating, all the while still allowing the shoulders free to move around.

The causes of a damaged labrum can vary. It is either acquired through an injury by way of dislocation, the lifting heavy objects, or falling onto outstretched hands, or it can be harmed through rapid and/or strenuous recurring movements that will put continuous strain and stress out the labrum. SLAP tears resulting from repetitive forceful movements usually happen to athletes that engage in overhead sports like throwing and weightlifting. SLAP tears, however, can also occur as a result of the labrum wearing down over time. These are usually common for people over the age of forty, as it is seen as a normal part of aging.

There are different ways to treat a SLAP tear injury. They can be achieved either by a SLAP Tear Surgery or through non-surgical means. The latter option, in many cases, is usually the initial treatment done before anything as serious as surgery is considered. This usually entails a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory type of medication that may help the pain and swelling. The other non-surgical option is through physical therapy. After a certain period of time where the tear is allowed to heal in a sling, physical therapy is often what comes next. The specific exercises provided in physical therapy will rehabilitate the unused muscles surrounding the shoulder, strengthen it to prevent further injury, as well as restore movement in it without pain.

Surgery will usually be recommended by the doctor if the non-surgical means fail to relieve or improve the pain. The most commonly used surgical technique used to repair a SLAP tear injury is called Arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is when the surgeon inserts a small camera called an arthroscope into the affected shoulder joint during the surgery. With the camera in place, the surgeon will be able to guide the miniature surgical instruments needed to treat the tear through the images displayed by the arthroscope on a television screen.