Labral Tears

slap labeled
A labral tear as seen during shoulder scope surgery. From Keener et. al., JAAOS 2009.

Shoulder labral tears occur when the soft “lip” around the socket of the shoulder tear away or begin to flip into the shoulder joint. Symptoms of a labral tear includes pain with overhead and rotational movements and sometimes clicking.

Labral tears occur in all age groups, including young and active patients, as well as older patients. It often happens with problems of the biceps tendon, which is part of the shoulder joint and attaches onto the labrum.

Some labral tears are called "SLAP" tears, which is an acronym for Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior tear. To see an interesting video that explains SLAP tears, visit Dr. Nelson's YouTube Channel.

Dr. Nelson trained with the world’s foremost experts in labral tears at the world-renowned Shoulder Unit at the Centre Orthopedique Santy in Lyon, France. He is dual-fellowship trained and a member of the prestigious American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons.

Treatment of labral tears ranges from watchful waiting and physical therapy to ultrasound-guided steroid or PRP injections. Some patients who have continued symptoms may benefit from minimally-invasive arthroscopic treatment with labral repair or biceps tenodesis.

It is extremely important to discuss your shoulder pain with a shoulder specialist such as Dr. Johnny T. Nelson MD. This will allow him to perform an examination, review any imaging, and make a correct diagnosis to make sure the appropriate treatment is carried out. Call 919-872-5296 today to schedule your visit with Dr. Nelson, or contact us here.


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