What is a SLAP Repair?

S.L.A.P is an acronym for superior labrum, anterior and posterior.

Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body. It is dependant on muscles, ligaments (including the joint ‘capsule’) and a rim of cartilage (called the ‘labrum’) to stabilise it during movement.

S.L.A.P lesions or tears of the superior labrum (superior labrum, anterior and posterior), can be caused by trauma e.g. a fall or as a result of degenerative changes. The tendon of the biceps muscle also attaches onto the labrum in this area and so can be affected by this injury.

In the operation the damaged area is repaired using small anchors. This is done via arthroscopy (keyhole surgery).

What are the benefits of having a SLAP Repair?

The purpose of a SLAP repair operation is to re-attach the damaged labrum (cartilage) to the socket of the shoulder joint to restore stability to your shoulder and reduce your symptoms.

What are the risks of having a SLAP Repair?

All operations involve an element of risk, these are very small but you need to be aware of them and can discuss them with your doctor at any time.

The risks are:

  • Complications relating to the anaesthetic
  • Infection
  • Stiffness and or pain around the shoulder
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels around the shoulder
  • Need to re-do the surgery e.g. if the repair fails and the shoulder becomes symptomatic again