SLAP Tear Treatment

Knoxville’s Best Choice for SLAP Tear Treatment in Eastern Tennessee

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What is a SLAP Tear?

A SLAP tear (Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior tear) is an injury to the labrum, a ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint. The labrum serves as an anchor for the biceps tendon as well as stabilizing the shoulder joint.

A SLAP tear generally occurs when the biceps tendon attaches to the labrum and can be caused by acute trauma, repetitive shoulder motion, or the natural aging process. This type of tear can significantly impede shoulder function and often leads to symptoms like pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion. Early diagnosis and treatment at Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance can be crucial for optimal recovery.

What are the Symptoms of a SLAP Tear?

A SLAP Tear can present a variety of symptoms that affect the shoulder’s function and comfort. Key symptoms may include:

  • Deep, Aching Pain: Often localized within the shoulder, exacerbated during overhead activities or lifting heavy objects
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Limited mobility in the shoulder, affecting daily activities
  • Weakness: A feeling of reduced strength or fatigue in the shoulder joint
  • Catching or Locking Sensation: This can make moving feel awkward or uncomfortable
  • Popping or Clicking Sounds: Audible noises from the shoulder during movement
  • Instability: A general sense of looseness or lack of control in the shoulder joint

How Serious is a SLAP Tear?

The seriousness of a SLAP tear can vary depending on factors such as the extent of the tear, your age, and your activity level. While a minor SLAP tear may cause discomfort and inconvenience, it can often be managed with conservative treatments like physical therapy and pain relief measures. 

However, more severe SLAP tears, especially those that compromise the shoulder’s stability or significantly restrict the range of motion, may require shoulder surgery for optimal recovery. Neglected or improperly treated SLAP tears can lead to chronic shoulder issues, including persistent pain, degenerative changes, and a reduced quality of life.

SLAP Tear Treatment in Knoxville, TN

How Do You Treat a SLAP Tear?

Treatment for a SLAP Tear focuses on relieving pain, improving shoulder function, and facilitating healing. Options can range from conservative treatments to surgical interventions, depending on the severity of the tear and the patient’s overall health. Treatment methods include:

  • Physical Therapy: Exercises aimed at improving shoulder strength and range of motion
  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections for pain relief
  • Rest and Ice: Avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms, coupled with ice application to reduce inflammation
  • Arthroscopic Surgery: For more severe or persistent cases, arthroscopic shoulder surgery may be considered to repair the damaged labrum
  • Post-surgical Rehabilitation: Physical therapy to regain strength and mobility following surgical intervention

Your healthcare provider at Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to your condition and lifestyle.

For more information, give us a call or schedule an appointment online. Our orthopedic clinic has multiple locations. We serve patients in Knoxville, TN, Oak Ridge, TN, Lenoir City, TN, and Sevierville, TN.

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