Why Is Surgery A Preferred Treatment For Shoulder SLAP Tear?

Shoulder injuries can be debilitating and have a significant impact on daily activities and quality of life. One common injury that affects the shoulder joint is a Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior (SLAP) tear which involves a tear in the superior portion of the labrum, a ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket. This injury can occur due to repetitive overhead motions, trauma, or degenerative changes, causing persistent shoulder pain, weakness, limited range of motion, and instability.

When conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and pain management fail to provide sufficient relief, surgery often emerges as the preferred treatment option. Let’s explore some of the reasons why surgery is favoured for treating a shoulder SLAP tear.

1. Comprehensive Repair

While non-invasive treatments can offer temporary relief, they may not fully address the severity of a SLAP tear. In contrast, surgery provides a thorough assessment of the injury, allowing for repair of the damaged labrum and associated structures. Skilled bone specialist surgeons can delicately reattach the torn labrum and address any other shoulder joint abnormalities that may be contributing to the injury. This comprehensive approach goes beyond what non-surgical methods can achieve, making surgery an appealing option for effective and lasting treatment. 

2. Improved Long-Term Stability

Surgical intervention for a SLAP tear offers a remarkable advantage – the potential to restore long-term stability to the shoulder joint. When the labrum is torn, the shoulder’s stability is compromised, heightening the risk of recurrent dislocations and persistent symptoms like pain and weakness. However, through surgical reattachment of the labrum, the shoulder joint’s anatomical integrity can be mended, significantly reducing the likelihood of future dislocations. This improved stability provides patients with the confidence to actively participate in physical activities without the constant worry of further damage, ultimately, enhancing their overall quality of life. 

3. Faster Recovery

Rehabilitation plays a vital role in the recovery process following surgery, offering a swifter and more efficient path compared to non-surgical alternatives. Conservative treatments often necessitate extended periods of rest and physical therapy, which may bring about only temporary relief. Surgery, on the other hand, takes a direct approach to address the underlying issue by reconstructing the torn labrum and stabilising the shoulder joint. This in turn fosters efficient healing, facilitating quicker restoration of range of motion and strength, allowing patients to resume their pre-injury activities as soon as possible. 

4. Pain Relief And Function Restoration

Shoulder pain, weakness, and restricted range of motion are often distressing symptoms accompanying a SLAP tear, which can have a profound impact on an individual’s daily life and hinder their ability to carry out routine tasks. Surgery presents a promising opportunity for much-needed relief by repairing the torn labrum and addressing any other underlying factors contributing to discomfort. By meticulously restoring the anatomical integrity of the shoulder joint, surgery not only enhances shoulder function but also paves the way for a successful return to pre-injury activities. Patients regain their freedom of movement, strength, and stability, allowing them to confidently resume sports, work, and other physical pursuits, thus reclaiming their vibrant and active lifestyles.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as shoulder pain, weakness, or limited range of motion, it is crucial to seek professional evaluation from an orthopaedic specialist. Advanced Orthopaedic & Sports Centre, a trusted orthopaedic clinic, has a team of skilled surgeons and professionals who can provide the appropriate diagnosis and guide you through the most suitable treatment options for your shoulder SLAP tear. Don’t hesitate to consult with our orthopaedic professional to receive personalised care and regain optimal shoulder health. Contact us today to know more.