SLAP Tears

What is a SLAP Tear?

If you’ve been experiencing shoulder pain and feelings of shoulder instability, it’s possible that you may have a SLAP tear. SLAP stands for Superior Labrum, Anterior to Posterior tears. The L in SLAP refers to your glenoid labrum, a piece of soft tissue that surrounds the shoulder socket and helps keep your upper arm bone securely in place.

Your labrum plays two important roles in your shoulder joint. First, it acts as a cushion for your upper arm bone, helping it stay firmly in place within the shoulder socket. Second, the superior portion of the labrum serves as the attachment for the long head of the biceps tendon, which is the tendon that connects the biceps muscle in the arm to the shoulder.

The S in SLAP refers to the superior part of your labrum, which is the top part that is closest to the surface of your skin. When this area of your labrum is damaged or torn, it can lead to pain and feelings of instability in the shoulder joint.

A tear to your labrum can be caused by a range of factors, including acute injury, repetitive motion, or simply as a result of normal wear and tear over time. SLAP tears are common injuries among athletes who frequently engage in overhead movements, such as baseball pitchers and volleyball players.

Treatment Options:

If you have been diagnosed with a SLAP tear, there are several treatment options available to you. Dr. Gregory Drake understands that every patient is unique, and he will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

In some cases, non-surgical treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation associated with a SLAP tear. Dr. Drake is committed to maximizing conservative treatment options and will exhaust all non-surgical options before recommending surgery. 

If non-surgical treatments do not provide relief, surgery may be necessary to repair the torn labrum. Dr. Drake is a highly skilled orthopedic surgeon with extensive experience in performing minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures for SLAP tears. Arthroscopic surgery involves making small incisions in the shoulder and using a tiny camera to guide the repair of the torn labrum. This approach results in less pain and scarring, and a quicker recovery time compared to traditional open surgery.

Depending on the severity of your SLAP tear, Dr. Drake may also recommend removing the biceps anchor out of the shoulder joint, and repairing it lower in the arm to prevent further injury to the superior labrum. 

Why Choose Dr. Drake and Level Up Shoulder

Choosing the right physician to treat your SLAP tear is critical for a successful recovery. Dr. Gregory Drake is a highly experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder injuries and offers a patient-centered approach to care. His focus on minimally invasive treatments and conservative management options ensures that you will receive the best possible care without unnecessary surgeries or procedures.


With over 400 cases performed last year alone, Dr. Drake has extensive experience treating SLAP tears and other shoulder injuries. He is fellowship trained in shoulder surgery and has received numerous awards for his groundbreaking research and contributions to the field. As a leading shoulder surgeon, he is constantly seeking to improve his techniques and treatment options to provide the best possible outcomes for his patients.


Dr. Drake takes the time to listen to his patients and develop personalized treatment plans that meet their unique needs and goals. He uses the latest diagnostic tools and advanced imaging techniques to accurately diagnose and treat SLAP tears and other shoulder conditions.


If you suspect that you may have a SLAP tear, it’s important to seek professional medical attention. Dr. Gregory Drake is a highly skilled shoulder orthopedic surgeon with extensive experience in treating SLAP tears. With a commitment to maximizing conservative and non-surgical treatment options, Dr. Drake will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and goals. Contact Dr. Drake’s office today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a healthier, pain-free shoulder.