Shoulder SLAP tears: healing without surgery
What is a SLAP tear? It stands for Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior. The most common signs of a labral tear are clicking within the shoulder at end range of motion and a slipping sensation. An MRI is often required to diagnose this problem but clinical correlation is important.
The glenoid labrum is a piece of connective tissue in the shoulder that creates a "soft" socket for the upper arm bone to fit in. It maintains the stability of the upper arm in the shoulder and can become torn during repetitive motion that occurs in throwing and overhead sports as well as from trauma. A shoulder dislocation or chronic dislocations can create an unstable shoulder especially with overhead reach or throwing.
This can become a devastating problem for throwing athletes. When a labral tear is present, it usually causes the head of the upper arm bone to slip within this soft socket, causing pain and inflammation. A recent study published in the American Journal of Orthopedics analyzed 119 professional baseball players that had a SLAP lesion and found that position players did better without surgery. Click here to read the abstract from this study.
The conservative management involves a physical therapy program utilizing advanced stabilization exercises for the shoulder girdle and supportive musculature. By working on strength and stability, an athlete can often succeed in avoiding surgery. But if multiple dislocations have occurred and the shoulder is very unstable, surgery is often required.
Did you have a steroid injection recently?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published a list of facilities that have been supplied with contaminated Prednisone used in common steroid injections. This has resulted in 223 cases of Fungal Meningitis. The facilities in New Jersey are:
- Central Jersey Orthopedics Specialists PC, So. Plainfield
- Comprehensive Pain Management, Sparta
- Edison Surgical Center, Edison
- IF Pain Associates, Teaneck
- Premier Orthopedics Surg. Assoc., LLC, Vineland
- South Jersey Health Care, Elmer
- South Jersey Health Care, Vineland
For the CDC Meningitis information page, click here.