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Shoulder Joint Surgery: SLAP Repair

A SLAP lesion is a shoulder injury. It occurs when there is a tear in the labrum. This is the fibrous cartilage that helps hold the shoulder joint in place. Surgery can repair this injury. This surgery may be done through a few small incisions. This is called arthroscopic surgery. Or, it may be done through one larger incision. This is known as open surgery. You and your doctor will discuss which method is right for you.

Preparing for Surgery

  • Tell your doctor what prescription and over-the-counter medications you take. This includes herbs and supplements. It also includes things like aspirin and ibuprofen. Ask whether you should stop taking any of these before surgery.

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.

  • Bring any x-rays, forms, or scans your doctor needs with you to the hospital.

  • Arrange for an adult family member or friend to give you a ride home after the procedure.

During Surgery

During surgery, your surgeon will closely examine your shoulder. One or more repairs may be done:

  • The labrum may be reattached to the glenoid using surgical anchors or sutures.

  • Other damage to the shoulder may be repaired. This includes tightening the capsule (sheet of tough fibers that surrounds the glenoid and humerus).

Possible Risks and Complications of Shoulder Surgery

  • Infection

  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels

  • Excessive loss of shoulder flexibility

  • Recurrence of shoulder problem

Online Medical Reviewer: Bechtold, C Dustin, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Mitchell, Bryan Sean, MD
Last Review Date: 10/31/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.