A ring made of solid tissue known as the “labrum” helps to stabilize the shoulder and make it function properly. It helps in keeping the arm bone fit in perfectly into the socket of the shoulder. When the top portion of labrum gets injured or tears apart, it is referred to as a SLAP injury. The full form of SLAP is ‘superior labrum, anterior to posterior’. You must immediately visit an expert Joint Doctor or orthopedician in case of a SLAP injury. Read on to know more about the symptoms, causes and treatments for the same.


A SLAP injury shows the below-mentioned symptoms: Pain in the arm during overhead movements is one of the prominent symptoms of a SLAP tear. Secondly, the affected person can also experience a crackling sound in the shoulder. The injured person feels weakness in his shoulder along with continuous pain.


People suffering from SLAP injuries mostly tend to bear the stress of other shoulder injuries as well. An experienced orthopedic doctor can determine the exact condition of your shoulder and give you the requisite treatment. A SLAP injury can be caused due to any of the following reasons:

  • If you fall with the whole pressure on your shoulder.
  • The injury can also result from a fall where your arm is stretched out completely.
  • Lifting heavy objects on a regular basis or with a sudden movement can also lead to a SLAP injury.
  • The labrum can also tear apart in a car accident wherein your arm is stretched out.
  • Playing sports such as baseball, wherein the overhead movement is too much can also cause the labrum to get injured.


Since pain in the shoulder can be a result of many factors, it becomes all the harder to diagnose a SLAP injury. However, an orthopedic doctor can determine whether you have a SLAP tear or not by conducting a number of tests that check the movement of the shoulder joint.

An MRI scan can also be conducted to diagnose a SLAP injury. But the most reliable way to confirm a SLAP tear is by conducting an arthroscopic surgery. In this case, incisions in the shoulder are made by the doctor so as to clearly see inside the joint. This is done by inserting a small camera that is attached to a very slim tube. In this process, the tear can also be repaired simultaneously. The doctor can also prescribe shoulder exercises to make the rotator cuff muscles stronger. However, if nothing works then the doctor goes in for arthroscopic surgery as mentioned above.