Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior Specialist in NJ
A SLAP tear is an injury to the labrum, which is the ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint. The acronym SLAP stands for Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior. Since the shoulder is a ball-and-socket type of joint, the labrum’s role in the shoulder’s anatomy is to the help deepen the socket, or glenoid, and stabilize the shoulder joint and its movements. In addition to its role in the glenoid, the labrum is also the attachment point for many ligaments in the shoulder, as well as a tendon that runs from the bicep to the shoulder.
When a patient comes to NJOI with a SLAP tear, it usually was caused by one of two things, acute trauma or repetitive shoulder motion. Participating in sports like baseball, softball, and football that require overhand throwing, or weightlifting with heavy weights, can cause a labrum tear over time. Acute trauma from a motor vehicle accident, an awkward fall with an outstretched arm, or a forceful movement with the arm outstretched or above the shoulder height can all be the source of a SLAP tear. As the body ages, wear and tear on the labrum makes it more susceptible to tearing and/or fraying with everyday activities.
A SLAP tear’s symptoms are consistent with most shoulder injuries, and can often be difficult to determine without MRI testing and arthroscopic surgery. Patients who have experienced a SLAP tear report feeling popping, clicking, and catching sensations in the shoulder following the injury. Regular aching pain is common, as well as pain when the arm is moved above the shoulder level, or when throwing a ball. Feelings of weakness and instability when lifting or holding items of various weights are also consistent with someone who is suffering from a SLAP tear.
In less severe instances of SLAP tears, a non-surgical route can be taken. This type of treatment can include NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen to help reduce pain and swelling that occurs with movement or use of the arm and shoulder. NJOI will also recommend specific physical therapy treatments that are designed to improve the flexibility and range-of-motion in the shoulder capsule. These types of exercises are designed to take stress off the labrum and reduce the risk of future injury. Patients with a full SLAP tear will require arthroscopic surgery to repair the shoulder injury. Utilizing a small camera and small scissors, our surgeons are able to remove torn sections of the labrum, as well as use sutures to reattach torn sections. Each SLAP tear is different, and will be treated different based on the location of the tear, the severity, and the long-term goals of the patient.
Playing catch and feel something not right in your shoulder? Come see the staff at NJOI to find out what’s wrong, and get the best treatment possible so that you can get back to your best in no time. Our practice has 6 convenient locations throughout North and Central New Jersey. Our offices are in Clifton, Butler, Wayne, Bridgewater, and Morristown. Give us a call at 9732-273-3431 to schedule and appointment today!
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Meet The Team
Vincent K. McInerney, M.D.
Founding member, Vincent K. McInerney, M.D., graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in 1977 with honors as one of the top medical students in his class.
Anthony Festa, M.D.
Dr. Anthony Festa is an orthopaedic surgeon in his seventh year of practice at the New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute.
Anthony J. Scillia, M.D.
Anthony J. Scillia M.D. is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with subspecialty certification in sports medicine.
Robert M. Palacios, M.D.
SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN
Dr. Robert Palacios is board-certified and fellowship trained, and has been specializing in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine for over two decades.
Craig Wright, M.D.
ORTHOPAEDIC TRAUMA SURGEON
Craig Wright, MD joins New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute by way of Totowa, NJ where he was born and raised.
"Doctors and staff very knowledgeable. Staff very friendly and helpful. Procedure I had went well and staff at surgical center very nice. My procedure went very smoothly. Follow up by staff impressive. Neat office; inviting. Would definitely recommend Dr. Festa to anyone in need of such services."
"Hurt my hand in work. Came here thru my company. Happy with the Doctor and the Service. Good Location. Would recommend to others."