Patient Education

To help you understand and navigate through your orthopedic health decisions, we have created a patient education section. Please select from one of the categories below to learn more about your condition or procedure.
SLAP Tears

A SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior) tear is an injury to the labrum, which is the ring of cartilage surrounding the shoulder socket. It involves a tear at the top (superior) portion of the labrum where the biceps tendon attaches.

Common Symptoms

  • Deep shoulder joint pain with arm movements
  • Catching, locking, or grinding sensation in the shoulder
  • Popping or clicking sound
  • Radiating arm pain if biceps tendon is involved

Cause & Anatomy

Causes of SLAP Tears:

  • Acute trauma like a fall on an outstretched arm, forceful pulling, or shoulder dislocation
  • Repetitive overhead motions in sports like throwing or weightlifting
  • Normal wear and tear from aging, especially over 30-40 years old

Anatomy of SLAP Tears:

  • Labrum: Ring of cartilage surrounding the shoulder socket (glenoid)
  • Biceps tendon: Attaches to the superior labrum
  • Shoulder joint: Ball (humerus) and socket (glenoid) joint


  • Physical examination testing shoulder mobility and pain
  • Imaging like MRI to visualize the labrum tear


  • Avoid repetitive overhead motions that strain the shoulder
  • Strengthen rotator cuff and shoulder muscles
  • Use proper technique in sports involving throwing/overhead motions



  • Anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections

Surgical (arthroscopy):

  • Removing or reattaching torn labrum, releasing biceps tendon


Arthroscopic surgery involves small incisions and inserting a camera (arthroscope) to visualize and repair the SLAP tear, often by reattaching the torn labrum with sutures or removing the torn portion.


It takes 6-9 months for complete recovery after SLAP tear surgery. Rehabilitation focuses on restoring range of motion through stretching and exercises to strengthen supporting muscles.


How long does a SLAP tear last?
3-6 months with nonsurgical treatment, 6-9 months after surgery.

Can I play sports after SLAP tear surgery?
Yes, but you need to protect the repaired shoulder from re-injury.

What increases SLAP tear risk?
Overhead throwing/lifting sports, age over 30-40 years.

To schedule an appointment:

To speak with a medical professional, call: