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A SLAP tear (SLAP stands for superior labrum anterior to posterior) is an injury to the labrum, the fibrocartilage lining the shoulder socket that the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into. This common injury occurs either from a repetitive activity, such as throwing a ball or serving in tennis or from falling onto the shoulder. Labral injuries are also frequently seen in shoulder dislocations.

Our Approach to SLAP Tears

UCSF Health is committed to helping patients with SLAP tears recover shoulder function and return to their favorite activities. Our team includes orthopedic surgeons, shoulder and other joint specialists, primary care sports medicine doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers. These experts work together to tailor a treatment plan to each patient's needs and goals.

Treatment usually begins with rest, ice applications and physical therapy. We offer the full range of physical therapies, including specifically designed exercise regimens, functional activity instruction and neuromuscular reeducation (techniques that train the area to move normally again). Patients who continue to experience pain that interferes with daily activities or sports may choose to have surgery. Our orthopedic surgeons are experts in minimally invasive techniques, using small incisions and specialized instruments to repair the injury and facilitate healing.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-orthopedics

    One of the nation's best for orthopedic care

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.