SLAP lesions

This term stands for Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior lesion or tear. The labrum is a rim of cartilage that surrounds the glenoid (socket). The labrum acts like a bumper and adds to the stability of the shoulder. At the top part (at 12 O’clock) the long head of biceps tendon inserts onto the labrum.

Traction injuries or repetitive over-head movements lead to tears in the labrum on either side of the 12 O’Clock position.

This presents with pain and clicking. Diagnosis is difficult as the specialist tests are not specific. An MR arthrogram (MRI with injection of a dye) is often required.
There are different grades of tears.

Treatment can be conservative with analgesia and activity modification. If this fails surgery can be performed in the form of a key hole arthroscopy with repair of the labrum.