SLAP Tears and the Role of Physio

A SLAP tear refers to a Superior Labral Tear from anterior to Posterior. This is an injury to the glenoid labrum within the shoulder joint. Symptoms include a aching within the joint, difficulty sleeping and discomfort whilst lying down as well as a perceived catching sensation.

One of our recent patients injured their shoulder parachuting but like lots of patients, they coped with the symptoms until it was exacerbated by another activity. Our patient sought medical advice due to persistent night pain and difficulty performing overhead activities, in this instance, a tennis serve, due to a pinching sensation. Initially they were given an ultrasound guided steroid injection, which relieved the symptoms temporarily.

Very few people return to full capacity without surgical intervention and treatment is normally an arthroscopic SLAP repair. Our patient underwent this surgery and complained of stiffness and discomfort for 3 months with night pain for 6-9 months. However, all these symptoms post surgery are considered normal.

After the operation, patients are advised to wear a sling for 4 weeks with the shoulder immobilised. Your surgeon will then advise you to have Physiotherapy, starting with a range of movement exercises and progressing on to strengthening exercises; 8-10 weeks post surgery. My patient was back in the tennis court playing gentle tennis by 3 months and “good” tennis in 6 months.

Have you recently been diagnosed with a SLAP tear? Are you looking for a highly specialised physio to help you recover? Our physios are able to see you at work or home and we can often arrange the first appointment within 24 hours. Call us on 0207 884 0374 or emailing info@physiocomestoyou.com.

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