Shoulder Surgery: SLAP (Superior Labral Anterior Posterior) Lesion Repair

Anatomy

Figure 1 Figure 2
Shoulder anatomy
Normal shoulder joint

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Indications for operation

A symptomatic SLAP lesion

Anaesthetic

General Anaesthetic with an interscalene block (Fully asleep with a local anaesthetic injection into the side of the neck will numb the nerves to the shoulder for post-operative pain relief)

Operation type

Arthroscopic

Incisions

3 ½ cm incisions will be made in the shoulder, one to the back and two at the front of the shoulder.

Procedure

The gleno-humeral (shoulder) joint will be inspected first followed by the subacromial bursa and the rotator cuff. The area where the labrum has become detached will be freshened up and the labrum reattached to the glenoid using 2 or 3 sutures secured to the bone using "suture anchors". If it is not possible to do this the damaged tissue will be removed.

Images

The SLAP lesionPassing sutures
SLAP tear - lesion                                                                     SLAP tear - passing sutures
Sutures in placeCompleted repairs
SLAP tear - sutures in place                                                 SLAP tear - completed repair

Video

Wound Closure

Small butterfly paper stitches will be used to close the wounds.

Dressings

Elastoplast dressings will be placed over the top of the paper stitches and an adhesive bandage over the top of this.

Immediate aftercare

A sling will be placed on the arm and it may feel numb for the rest of the day. You can go home when you feel comfortable and will be given instructions on what to do next.

Further instructions for SLAP Repair rehabilitation