How successful is SLAP tear surgery?
Anatomy of shoulder joints
The shoulder blade, collarbone, and upper arm bone join to form the shoulder. These three bones are the foundation of your shoulder joints. The shoulder blade has a shallow glenoid socket, and the humeral head fits into this socket. The glenoid is covered with a soft fibrous tissue called the labrum, which provides strength and stability to the shoulder joints. Moreover, it gives depth to the glenoid so the head of the humerus can fit into the socket. Furthermore, it acts as an attachment site for ligaments.
Acute trauma or repeated shoulder dislocations can cause injury to the labrum. Some examples of shoulder injuries include:
- Falling on an outstretched arm
- Direct blow to the shoulder
- Injury while lifting heavyweights
- Sudden fall
- Forceful overhead motions
Moreover, you may develop ligament or tendon tears in your shoulders. The injury can damage the glenoid.
A SLAP lesion is a form of labrum tear that occurs above the middle of the glenoid. The lesion can also affect your biceps tendon.
A labrum tear that occurs below the middle of the glenoid socket is called a Bankart lesion. It may affect the condition of your inferior glenohumeral ligament.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of labrum tear are similar to other shoulder injuries. Therefore, it is challenging to diagnose the condition by looking at the damage. The signs of labrum tears include:
- Pain while lifting your arms above your shoulders
- Catching, grinding, popping, or locking
- Occasional pain during the night
- Shoulder instability
- Decreased range of motion
- Loss of strength
However, an experienced orthopaedic surgeon can treat the torn labrum. For expert advice on labrum tears, you may contact Dr. Rewat Laxman.
Until an orthopaedic surgeon understands the actual causes of shoulder pain, they may recommend anti-inflammatory medicines and rest to control pain and swelling. Moreover, they may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. If you do not get relief from these treatments, your surgeon may suggest arthroscopic surgery.
During the surgery, your surgeon inspects the condition of the labrum and the biceps tendon. If the labrum is injured and there is no injury to the biceps tendon, they may remove the torn flap to treat the underlying issue. However, if the damage extends to the biceps tendon, your surgeon may use suture anchoring devices to improve torn tendons. In addition, if the tear appears below the middle of the glenoid, you may have to undergo Bankart repair.
As a part of the recovery, you must use a sling for joint immobilisation. Moreover, you must perform gentle exercises to strengthen the muscles. Once the sling is removed, you can start stretching exercises. Your shoulder may take approximately six months to heal entirely.
Guidelines for Weight Training After Arthroscopic Labrum Repair
You must not start weight training until your surgeon advises you to do so. In general, you can begin weight training after three months of labrum repair. Before lifting weights, you must ensure that you have achieved a full range of shoulder motion. Moreover, your rotator cuff and scapular muscles must have adequate strength. You can start with light exercises, but you must not perform high-intensity workouts. Instead, slowly increase the intensity of your exercise, but do not perform rigorous activities as it can lead to muscle failure.