The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint made up of tendons, muscles and bones. Lining the socket is a cup-shaped piece of supportive, stabilizing cartilage called the labrum. One of the most common injuries affecting the labrum is a SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior) tear. As implied by the name, both the front (anterior) and back (posterior) portion of the labrum are involved in this injury. Depending on the severity, SLAP tear shoulder pain can be quite intense. Additionally, a SLAP tear may cause decreased strength and mobility in the affected shoulder.
Treatment for SLAP Tear Shoulder Pain
Symptoms of a labrum tear may appear following an acute incident such as a fall or car accident, or they may develop over time with repetitive overhead motion or normal shoulder wear and tear. In any case, there are a range of viable treatment options available to help relieve discomfort, restore range of motion and promote healing of a SLAP tear. Many patients experience significant improvement from some combination of the following nonsurgical treatments:
- Time off from physical activity – Resting the affected shoulder is nearly always recommended to facilitate healing and prevent a labral tear from worsening.
- Medication – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to help reduce shoulder pain and swelling stemming from a SLAP tear.
- Physical therapy – For some patients, physical therapy exercises may be helpful in returning shoulder mobility and function to pre-injury levels.
If first-line methods fail to provide sufficient relief from SLAP tear shoulder pain, arthroscopic labral repair may be recommended as the next step in treatment. A type of minimally invasive labrum tear surgery, this procedure allows your orthopedic surgeon to reattach the torn tissues and restore stability in the shoulder joint, without open surgery.
Dr. Stephen Soffer is highly skilled and experienced in performing this cutting-edge procedure. During his extensive training, Dr. Soffer completed a fellowship in sports medicine with world-renowned sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Now, he educates other surgeons on shoulder arthroscopy as a Master Instructor for the Arthroscopy Association of North America.
Count On Dr. Soffer for Expert, Individualized Shoulder Care in Berks County, PA
If you are living with persistent shoulder pain, Dr. Soffer is here to help you create an effective plan to address it. Offering a comprehensive range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments for shoulder issues, he is dedicated to helping patients of all ages heal fully, with the shortest possible recovery time. If you are located in or near Berks County, PA, call our office at 610-375-4949 to schedule an appointment with the area’s most qualified & compassionate shoulder doctor.