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Shoulder Joint Surgery: SLAP Repair

Shoulder joint showing humerus, glenoid, labrum and a SLAP tear

Close up of shoulder joint showing capsule, glenoid, labrum and anchors attacjomg tje ;anrum to the glenoid

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, called arthroscopic surgery. Or, it may be done through one larger incision, 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, 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

  • Stiffness

  • Recurrence of shoulder problem

  • Failure of sutures or implants to fix the labrum

Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Roux, Susan L., ARNP
Last Review Date: 8/3/2013
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