SLAP is an acronym that stands for Superior Labrum – Anterior to Posterior and describes a type of shoulder injury involving the labrum.
The labrum is the rim of cartilage surrounding the shoulder socket that keeps the shoulder joint's ball in its proper position. It also serves a cushioning role for the bones in the joint, a connective part for tendon and ligaments, and provides a full range of motion in the shoulder.
SLAP tears are common injuries for athletes that participate in sports involving overhead movements. Repeated throwing motions can gradually wear down the labrum and lead to a tear in the upper part where the biceps tendon connects. The tear takes place in the front and back of this attachment, and it's not uncommon for the biceps tendon to also be affected.
The biggest concern regarding SLAP tears for athletes is their potential to sideline a player for a prolonged period. It should be noted that non-athletes can also experience this sort of injury.
The most common causes and risk factors that lead to a SLAP tears are:
Sports that see the most SLAP tears or lesions include: