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A SLAP (superior labrum anterior to posterior) tear is a specific type of injury to the shoulder joint that affects the labrum, which is the ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint. A SLAP tear occurs when there is damage to the upper portion of the labrum, where the biceps tendon attaches to the shoulder.

SLAP tears can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse, trauma, or degeneration of the labrum due to aging. SLAP tears are most common in young active overhead athletes such as pitchers, quarterbacks and volleyball players. Symptoms of a SLAP tear can include pain, weakness, and instability in the shoulder joint, as well as a popping or clicking sensation when moving the arm.

Treatment for a SLAP tear can depend on the severity of the injury and the underlying cause. In some cases, conservative treatments such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area. Physical therapy can also be helpful, as it can help improve range of motion and strength in the shoulder joint.

For more severe cases of a SLAP tear, surgery may be necessary to repair the labral lesion or to redirect the biceps tendon (biceps tenodesis).

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or other symptoms, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and the best course of treatment for your individual needs. With proper treatment and management, it is possible to alleviate pain and improve function in the affected shoulder joint.

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