SLAP Lesion Tear Surgeon in Illinois

Our expert, friendly team of orthopaedic specialists is here to help you find care and treatment for shoulder pain and discomfort caused by a SLAP lesion or tear. Don’t let shoulder pain keep you from activities you love or impact your quality of life.

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What is A SLAP Lesion?

A SLAP lesion is a shoulder injury involving damage to the cartilage ring surrounding the socket of the shoulder joint called the labrum. The labrum keeps the ball of the upper arm bone or “humerus” in place and aligns the shoulder socket. SLAP is an acronym describing the ring of cartilage and stands for superior labrum anterior and posterior. A SLAP Lesion repair is a surgical procedure to help repair the labrum and alleviate shoulder pain, restoring function to the joint. 

Symptoms of a SLAP Lesion include:


  • Persistent chronic pain in the shoulder joint that radiates down into the bicep
  • Joint instability, such as dislocation of the shoulder joint, is expected when the labrum is damaged
  • Decreased range of motion in the shoulder joint
  • Weakness and difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Clicking, popping, or grinding of the joint

What Causes a SLAP Lesion?

SLAP lesions are a common shoulder condition that affects many people. Repetitive motion injuries can cause SLAP lesions and are common in athletes who have to perform repetitive overhead motions, including swimmers, baseball players (especially pitchers), or tennis players. People with manual labor jobs also suffer from SLAP lesions from lifting heavy objects overhead. SLAP lesions can also be caused by accidents, such as falling and landing on an outstretched hand.

SLAP Lesion Repair Surgery

Your orthopedic specialist will work with you to diagnose and treat your SLAP lesion. Often SLAP lesion symptoms can be improved with nonoperative management, including rest, physical therapy, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Arthroscopic SLAP lesion repair surgery may be for you if your symptoms persist. 

SLAP lesion repair surgery is typically an arthroscopic procedure involving the use of small incisions and an arthroscopy camera to guide the surgeon. Patients are put under anesthesia for this procedure. The orthopedic surgeon will use the arthroscope to view the shoulder structure and extent of the SLAP lesion. They’ll remove and repair the damaged labrum using suture. 

SLAP Lesion Repair Recovery

Successful recovery from SLAP lesion repair includes:

  • Following your orthopedic surgeon’s instructions
  • Wearing your sling as prescribed
  • Watching for infection post-op
  • Reporting any unusual pain to your care team
  • Taking all medications as prescribed
  • Following your physical therapy plan

Consult your shoulder pain specialist if you’re suffering from a SLAP lesion. When patients understand their treatment options, they can actively participate effectively in their care, which is our goal at Suburban Orthopedics. 

Our shoulder pain specialists are here to give you the support and guidance you need when choosing treatment for your shoulder pain. Call us, and our friendly, expert staff will schedule you. We serve patients in Bartlett, IL, Elgin, IL, Schaumburg, IL, and Chicago, IL.

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