A SLAP (Superior Labral Anterior Posterior) tear is an injury to the labrum in your shoulder joint. The labrum is cartilage that cups the end of your arm bone in the shoulder joint. Slap tears are often caused by heavy lifting, repetitive overhead motions and falls; however, they can also be caused by car accidents.
Can car accidents cause SLAP Tears?
Yes. A common reaction to an imminent car accident is to brace for impact by grabbing the steering wheel with both hands. When you do this, your shoulder is engaged and will absorb some of the impact. When the shoulder is in this type of rigid position and absorbs the force of impact, the muscles, tendons, and cartilage in the shoulder are at risk of injury.
What are symptoms of a SLAP Tear?
SLAP tears can be a very painful and include the following symptoms:
- Pain during overhead activities
- sensation of grinding, locking or popping in the shoulder
- decrease in range of motion
- loss of strength in the arm
- night pain and difficulty sleeping
- sensation of instability in the shoulder
Only a physician can diagnose your slap tear; however, if you're having any of the symptoms you should seek medical attention.
How are SLAP Tears diagnosed?
SLAP tears can be difficult to detect. They sometimes are not visible on MRIs or other scans. Sometimes the only way to diagnose the injury is through an exploratory surgery. Doctors will ask very detailed questions regarding symptoms and injuries to the shoulder to determine whether you may have a slap tear.
What are the treatments for SLAP Tear?
- Pain medication
- cortisone injections
- physical therapy
- rest in an activity to allow inflammation to subside.
How long is recovery and will I regain full use of my shoulder?
Full recovery from surgery therapy often takes 3 to 4 months. The phases of recovery generally include
- rest and an activity for about 6 weeks;
- active movement of the shoulder to regain range of motion;
- exercises to strengthen the muscles in the shoulder to regain full use.
The results of surgery to repair SLAP tears as been mixed. The shoulder receives will little blood flow and as a result sometimes be difficult. Because of the uncertainty of the outcome, many doctors do not recommend surgery. The bottom line is that if you have had a slap tear, will likely have long-term and permanent problems with your shoulder.
We help people who have SLAP tear injuries from car accidents. We offer a free consultation so that you may discuss your concerns with an experienced attorney. Contact us online or call our St. Louis office at 314-862-6865 to schedule your free initial consultation. When you meet with us, ask about:
- Evening and weekend appointments
- Home and hospital visits
- No attorneys fees unless you collect