Shoulder Dislocations: SLAP Repair

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Introduction

The shoulder is a complex multi-directional ball-and-socket joint which allows movement in many directions.

SLAP Tears

The labrum is a ring that goes around the shoulder socket (glenoid) like the washer on the end of a hose. The labrum deepens the shoulder socket and also serves as an attachment site for tendons ligaments that hold the ball and socket together. Tears of the top part of the labrum are called “SLAP” lesions (short for Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior).

Incisions

Small incisions (portals) are made around the joint. The scope and surgical instruments will go into these incisions.

Visualization

The scope is inserted into the back of the shoulder joint. Saline solution flows through a tube (cannula) and into the shoulder capsule to expand the joint and to improve visualization. The image is sent to a video monitor where the surgeon can see inside the joint.

Repair

Surgical instruments are inserted into the joint. They will be used to reattach the labrum to the socket using screw-like devices called “suture anchors.” The anchors are placed in the bone of the socket and sutures are then passed through the labrum. Knots are tied through the portals to reattach the labrum to the bone.

End of Procedure

After the labrum is reattached, the surgical instruments are removed and the procedure is completed.