Pacifica Orthopedics, Huntington Beach, California.

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SLAP Lesions of the Shoulder


If you are an athlete that relies on your throw then you will find yourself at the most risk for a SLAP lesion of the shoulder. This occurs when there is a tear along the Labrum which is the rim of cartilage around the socket of the shoulder. There are four different categories for a SLAP lesion and they depend on the severity as well as the associated soft tissue injury.

SLAP is abbreviated for Superior Labral Anterior Posterior. Because the shoulder joint has a particularly shallow socket, it relies on the shoulder cuff to help it to move. This cuff makes the shoulder joint so much more stable in that movement whilst also allowing for your shoulder to carry out a wide range of movements. Actually, the shoulder is able to carry out a larger range of movement s than any other joint in the body.

If we are looking at he most common type of SLAP injury it would have to be type II. A type II injury is a tear that will occur near the site where the biceps muscle inserts into the bone. SLAP injuries are thought to be difficult to diagnose and some further investigation by an orthopedic doctor will generally uncover the diagnosis of the shoulder pain and restricted movement encountered.

Considering the severity of an injury such as this any person with pain associated with their shoulder or other joint should seek the advice of a specialist. Upon investigation, your orthopedic doctor will be able to offer a diagnosis as well as discuss treatment and pain management along with recovery and rehabilitation of the joint injury. It is important to seek the advice of a specialist as soon as the pain is encountered as the longer the injury is left, the damage can still be exacerbated with further use and injury to the area.

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