SLAP Tear Repair


SLAP stands for Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior. This tells you the area of the tear in your labrum, then the number afterward represents the severity of the tear. The labrum is part of the socket that holds the humerus (upper arm bone) into the shoulder joint. Labrum tears are common in older adults, and don’t always require a repair. For those that the surgery is indicated for, the surgery is performed arthroscopically and anchors are placed into the bone to hold the labrum in place.

The rehabilitation process for a SLAP tear is lengthy and goes through several phases. You will begin with a protective phases where you are focused on protecting the surgery and carefully regaining range of motion (ROM). Then, you go through a recovery phase where the ROM is recovered at a faster rate and you begin some light strengthening. Next, is the strengthening phase where you greatly increase the strength of your shoulder and getting any last ROM you need to return to normal. Finally, is a return to sport/activity phase where you get to participate in much more advanced strengthening and recalibration of your muscles and brain to learn how to control your shoulder again.

The key a successful rehabilitation process is a combination of following your home exercise program, and a physical therapist that will listen and get you prepared to get back to your desired activity.

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