SLAP Tear and Treatment Options [Video]

Ask the Expert: Shoulder Video Series

About the video: What is a SLAP tear?

Listen to our experts explain what a SLAP tear entails, and what the best treatment options are to get your shoulder back to full motion.

Meet Dr. Brent Warner

Dr. Warner’s approach: “As an athlete, I understand the profound impact that an injury can have on a patient’s life and well-being. My goal is to return people to activity as quickly and safely as possible, whether that’s training for an ultramarathon or walking the dog around the block.”

Dr. Warner’s education: Dr. Warner received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in Durham, NC. He completed his medical doctorate at the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, OH, and his residency took place at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. For advanced fellowship training, he attended the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, CO.

Meet Dr. Scott Pepin

Dr. Pepin’s approach: “Having my own personal experiences in sustaining injuries and the subsequent recovery process helps provide me insight into my own patients’ conditions and what they are going through. I also understand the importance of and strive to help return my patients back to the activities they want to do, whether that be to walk around the block or return to high-level sports performance.”

Dr. Pepin’s education: After earning his undergraduate degree at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Pepin completed medical school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He then went on to complete his residency at Indiana University Department of Orthopedic Surgery in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as a Ortholndy Sports Medicine Fellowship in Indianapolis.

Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise

From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.

Start your journey to stronger, healthier athletic condition. Find your sports medicine expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a sports medicine consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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Video Transcription

A SLAP tear is a tear of the labrum. The labrum is a small ring of the fibrocartilaginous tissue that sits around the edge of the shoulder socket. We see the labrum injured a lot of time when people have their shoulder dislocate. That’s a different type of labral tear from a SLAP tear. What the SLAP tear is – that’s actually an acronym that stands for superior labrum anterior to posterior. So this is a tear at the top of the labrum, very close to where the biceps tendon inserts at the top of the shoulder. And we see that most commonly in overhead athletes. So people who are throwers, such as baseball players or tennis players. The reason why these are painful directly where the long head of the biceps tendon actually attaches onto the superior labrum within the shoulder. So, as you’re using your arm in certain positions, that bicep is actually pulling on these tears. Quite frequently, these can actually be treated nonoperatively. Patients often have tight shoulders. Usually in the course of physical therapy, you can resolve a lot of the discomfort with these tears. And then occasionally they need to be addressed with surgery. The surgery for it can be – there’s a couple of different ways to address it, and it’s dependent on different patient factors and the type of tear. And these could be through either direct repair of the labrum or occasionally go in and release that biceps tendon that’s pulling on the tear and perform a tenodesis or sew that tendon down elsewhere to relieve that pain in the shoulder.

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  • Brent Warner MD

    Brent Warner, M.D.

    “As an athlete, I understand the profound impact that an injury can have on a patient’s life and well-being. My goal is to return people to activity as quickly and safely as possible, whether that’s training for an ultramarathon or walking the dog around the block.”

    More about this expert

  • Scott Pepin MD

    Scott Pepin, M.D.

    “Having my own personal experiences in sustaining injuries and the subsequent recovery process helps provide me insight into my own patients’ conditions and what they are going through. I also understand the importance of and strive to help return my patients back to the activities they want to do, whether that be to walk around the block or return to high-level sports performance.”

    More about this expert

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