Arthroscopic Shoulder SLAP Repair
Shoulder labral tears that occur in the superior region of the shoulder socket are often referred to as SLAP tears (Fig 1). SLAP stands for Superior Labral Anterior Posterior. This refers to the location of the torn labrum, which is found anterior and posterior to the biceps tendon, which originates just behind the superior portion of the labrum.
Certain SLAP tears are most appropriate treated with physical therapy and other non-operative treatments. These tears are collective referred to as stable SLAP tears. Other tears are unstable and require surgical treatment to repair the superior labral tear.
Arthroscopic Shoulder SLAP repair refers to the minimally invasive technique with which SLAP tears are fixed using small incisions (1 centimeter in size) and special instruments to minimize trauma to the soft tissues around the shoulder. A special camera, called an arthroscope, is inserted into the shoulder through a small incision in the back of the shoulder. Additional incisions are made in the front of the shoulder. Specialized instruments are passed through these incisions (Fig. 2) and employed to secure the labrum back to the bone using bio-absorbable anchors and suture (Fig 3).