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SLAP repair is performed to repair a tear of the labrum; the condition also is referred to as a SLAP lesion.
The shoulder is often referred to as a "ball-and-socket" joint. The head of the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into an area of the shoulder blade called the glenoid socket, which is rather flat. To hold the humerus in the socket, the labrum serves as a rim of soft, fibrous tissue.
SLAP repair — which is an abbreviation for "superior labrum anterior and posterior" repair — often becomes necessary when the labrum becomes torn away from bone in the glenoid socket.
The labrum also anchors the biceps tendon. When the biceps tendon becomes stretched and torn, the anterior and posterior (front and back) sides of the labrum can tear, as well.
To perform SLAP repair, a hole is drilled in the bone where the labrum is torn (SLAP lesion). An anchor is inserted into the hole. A suture is then used to tie the torn labrum back to the bone.
The orthopedics departments of John C. Lincoln Hospitals invite you to watch this overview of SLAP repair.