Arthroscopic Labrum Repair of the Shoulder (SLAP)
The shoulder joint involves three bones: the scapula (shoulder blade), the clavicle (collarbone) and the humerus (upper arm bone). The humeral head rests in a shallow socket on the scapula called the glenoid. Because the head of the humerus much larger than the glenoid, a soft fibrous tissue labrum called the labrum surrounds the glenoid to help deepen and stabilize the joint. The labrum deepens the glenoid by up to 50 percent so that the head of the humerus fits better. In addition, it serves as an attachment site for several ligaments.
Injuries to the labrum can occur from acute trauma or repetitive shoulder motion. Examples of traumatic injury include:
• Falling on an outstretched arm
• Direct blow to the shoulder
• Sudden pull, such as when trying to lift a heavy object
• Forceful overhead motions
Tears can be located either above (superior) or below (inferior) the middle of the glenoid. A SLAP lesion (superior labrum, anterior [front] to posterior [back]) is a tear of the labrum above the middle of the glenoid that may also involve the biceps tendon. A tear of the labrum below the middle of the glenoid socket that also involves the inferior glenohumeral ligament is called a Bankart lesion. Tears of the glenoid labrum often occur with other shoulder injuries, such as a dislocated shoulder (full or partial dislocation).
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