Labral Tear (SLAP Lesion)

Surgical Options

For most shoulders, the surgeons at the FHCH Spots Medicine Program will perform arthroscopic surgery. A tiny incision will made in the region, into which a small scope will be inserted to observe the inside of the joint, the labrum and the biceps tendon.

If the labrum is not torn off glenoid bone (socket) injury is confined to the labrum itself, the shoulder is considered stable. The surgeon will remove the torn flap and correct any associated problems. If the tear extends into the biceps tendon or if the labrum is no longer attached to the glenoid, the shoulder is unstable. To repair the damage, the surgeon will need to repair and reattach the tendon using absorbable anchors and sutures.

If the tear is below the middle of the socket, the surgeon will also reattach the ligament and tighten the shoulder socket.



Following surgery, you will need to keep your shoulder in a sling for 3 to 4 weeks. A series of gentle, passive and pain-free range-of-motion exercises will be prescribed. When the sling finally comes off, you'll need to continue to do motion and flexibility exercises and gradually start to strengthen your biceps as well. Athletes can usually start doing sports-specific workouts six weeks after surgery, though it may be 3 to 4 months before the shoulder is completely healed.

For causes, symptoms and non-surgical treatment options, click here.

If you have questions about surgical options or want to make an appointment with one of our sports medicine experts to discuss your condition, please contact our Patient Care Coordinators and they'll be happy to help you.