A SLAP tear (or SLAP lesion) is an injury to the labrum of the shoulder, which is the ring of cartilage that surrounds the sockets of the shoulder joint. SLAP stands for “superior labral tear from anterior to posterior.”
Patients who participate in sports involving repetitive overhead activities, such as weightlifting, football, baseball, softball and swimming, can experience labrum tears. Other labrum tears can be caused by an acute trauma, like a car accident, shoulder dislocation, falling onto an outstretched arm or forceful pulling on the arm.
Symptoms of a SLAP Tear
Pain with lifting overhead
Decrease in shoulder strength
A feeling that the shoulder can slip out of the joint
Pain with holding or moving the shoulder in certain positions
Feeling of having a “dead arm”
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