Posterior Labrum & SLAP Repair Surgery: What You Need to Know

September 30, 2023
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Shoulder injuries aren’t something to take lightly. No matter the cause, the persistent pain they bring can add unnecessary strain on your muscles. And if you’re not careful, it could also lead to severe mobility issues.

However, usually, it is athletes or people who use their arms a lot who are at risk of suffering from a labrum tear (SLAP). This might not be as common of an injury, but it can be incredibly dangerous and cause severe setbacks in your day-to-day life. Nevertheless, to learn more about a labrum tear and how it is treated on a professional level, keep on reading this article.

What is a Posterior Labrum & SLAP Repair?

Labrum is a semi-circle-shaped cartilage that lies inside the shoulder joint, helping it maintain its position. Due to the ball-and-socket formation of the joint, the labrum acts as a natural cushion which prevents the bones from shifting or losing their original placement. However, when this cartilage gets damaged, it can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort.

Moreover, depending on the area and side of the labrum, a tear might need to be fixed through a labrum repair, which is typically performed through shoulder arthroscopy. This type of repair specifically focuses on the superior portion of the labrum that extends from the front to the back of the shoulder socket.

Injuries in this area are known as SLAP tears because of the positioning, that is, the Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior tear. It’s the part where the bicep tendons are attached, running all the way from the front of the cartilage to the back. Thus, a tear in this specific area can cause pain, instability, and limited shoulder movement. However, during the procedure, the surgeon reattaches the torn cartilage muscles of the labrum, restoring functionality.

The Procedure

During a shoulder arthroscopy for a SLAP tear, the surgery is prepared in advance by the doctors. The patient is also given instructions beforehand to follow so they are ready. Once it is time for the surgery, the very first thing the surgeon does is give the patient anesthesia before beginning the procedure.

In case of a superior labrum (SLAP) tear and a posterior labrum tear, arthroscopic surgeries are helpful as they offer more precision and care. Shoulder arthroscopies, in general, are conducted in such a way that the tear is sutured and repaired back to its original shape.

It is necessary to stabilize the rotator cuff first, which is why surgeons thoroughly go over the affected site, evaluating the tear with utmost care. They pullart the bicep tendon, clearing out the area before inserting the anchor inside the superior labrum. This allows the suture to pass through the anchor, stitching the cartilage back together. After the knot has been tied on one suture, the surgeon will then likely continue placing anchors and passing the stitch through there. Lastly, when the unstable labrum tissues are fixed, the surgeon will extract the arthroscopic camera. This will result in the end of the procedure as they tie all the loose ends and treat the minor cuts.

Contact Us Today!

To put it briefly, a posterior labrum and SLAP repair is a serious condition that can lead to disintegration of the shoulder joint if not treated properly in time. An arthroscopic surgery is all it takes to realign the torn ligaments. For more information on the matter and to get in touch with an experienced surgeon, contact Dr. Mufaddal Gombera, MD, at (713) 794-3457 today.

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Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.

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