SLAP Repair is a surgical procedure used to correct a SLAP tear, or injury to the labrum in the shoulder joint. The term SLAP stands for Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior. The labrum is the perimeter cuff of fibrocartilage in the shoulder joint which forms a seal for the end of the humerus (arm) bone. The SLAP tear occurs at the point where the bicep muscle tendon connects to the labrum in the shoulder socket. A SLAP repair is considered for treatment when the labrum attachment to the muscle is unstable.
What to Expect from SLAP Repair Surgery
SLAP repair is performed using Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery, a minimally invasive surgical procedure used by orthopaedic surgeons to repair various painful diseases and disorders of the shoulder such as rotator cuff tendon tears, torn ligaments and bone spurs. An arthroscope is a small fiberoptic tube, about the diameter of a pencil, with a system of lenses, a light and a small video camera. The camera sends real-time images to a video monitor next to the operating table, thus allowing the surgeon to see more detail than is seen with a larger incision (open surgery) and the naked eye.
The arthroscope is inserted into the shoulder joint to inspect for a SLAP tear. Once the tear is found, the surgeon removes any excess tissue and drills a small hole in the bone where the labrum has torn away. An anchor attached to a strong suture is placed in the hole. One or more anchors may be used, depending on the extent of the injury. The sutures are then tied around the torn labrum to reattach it to the bone.
Arthroscopic SLAP repair surgery restores shoulder function by reattaching the labrum in its proper position. Your surgeon will most likely prescribe a sling to wear during the several weeks of recovery. A sling helps support your arm and shoulder by decreasing movement and pressure. During rehabilitation, you will also learn light exercises for your shoulder to help with any stiffness. Full recovery after SLAP repair surgery usually takes four to six months.
Major Advances in Shoulder Arthroscopy
Orthopaedic surgeons have been performing arthroscopic surgery on a wide spectrum of painful shoulder problems since the 1970s. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), shoulder arthroscopy has made diagnosis, treatment and recovery from surgery easier and faster than was once thought possible. Every year, new instruments and techniques are developed that fine-tune the surgery even more.
The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's Shoulder & Elbow Services in New York performs SLAP Repair Surgery as well as a broad range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments for conditions that affect the shoulder and elbow.
The Rehabilitation Network of the North Shore-LIJ Health System is dedicated to providing you and your family with result-oriented, comprehensive rehabilitation services. Our goal is to help you and your loved ones find relief from pain and get moving again after an accident, illness, injury or surgery. We’re your partner in a safe, healthy, more rapid recovery.