Luke W. Buthuis


Tears to the superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) are common injuries of the shoulder, and patients with these types of lesions are treated regularly by both general and sports-specialized orthopaedic surgeons. The causes, diagnosis, and effective treatment of these wounds have been examined extensively in the past several decades, owing partially to the development of arthroscopic techniques. Because clinical understanding has thus undergone frequent and notable changes, no standard method exists for current treatment. To help identify effective techniques for treating isolated SLAP tears, I reviewed the anatomy of the labrum and associated range of motion and stability of the complex, including pertinent locations such as the glenohumeral joint and long head of the biceps tendon; common mechanisms of injury (ie, inline, peel back, compression, and traction forces); past and current classification systems; results of physical examinations and imaging tests in diagnosing the injury; and nonoperative, operative, and current treatment methods (eg, tenodesis, debridement, and use of mattress sutures or knotless anchors). Although knowledge of the causes and long-term results of treating SLAP tears are limited, conservative techniques can be considered first to successfully treat the tear, with careful progression to operative treatment.

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Orthopedics Commons



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