How is a labral and SLAP tear diagnosed?
The specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho, serving Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley, will conduct a thorough examination to determine if there is a labral tear, SLAP tear or if there are any other injuries to the shoulder. During the exam, your doctor will discuss the normal and abnormal characteristics of the labrum, and will help identify if there is a tear of the labrum and whether or not that labral tear is associated with a sports injury, trauma or work-related injury. An X-ray of the shoulder may be used to see if there is any other shoulder injury present associated with the labral tear, such as bone involvement with the injury. Most often an MRI scan, will be used to help identify a possible labral tear and its location within the shoulder joint.
What is the treatment for a labral tear or SLAP tear?
Conservative treatment may be recommended for certain labral tears. SLAP tears can be treated with rest, anti-inflammatory medications and in some cases, physical therapy or an injection of a corticosteroid – such as cortisone. This is followed by gradual stretching exercises and eventually physical therapy to build the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. Non-surgical treatment of a torn labrum may be acceptable for patients who do not engage in regular physical activity or overhead work, or who are not having symptoms related to their torn labrum.
If conservative treatment and therapy have failed to alleviate pain, or if the patient regularly participates in sports or overhead work, an arthroscopic shoulder surgery may be recommended. The specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho will use a tiny camera and small surgical instruments to perform one or more of the following procedures:
- Debridement: Also called shaving, debridement smooths the jagged edge of the labrum. This is used if the tear is stable and does not involve the biceps tendon. It is very similar to trimming a meniscus in the knee with an arthroscopic surgery.
- SLAP Repair: Performed by reattaching the labrum to the shoulder socket, using strong sutures. Athletes and patients who want to remain active in sports or overhead work, who have an otherwise healthy shoulder are ideal candidates for this common procedure.
- Labrum Repair: The labrum is reattached to the bone in the glenoid cavity using strong sutures and anchors. It is vital to follow the recommended rehabilitation protocols after this type of meticulous surgery.
For additional information about Labral Tears or SLAP Tears in the shoulder, please visit The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho, serving Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley.