A SLAP tear is an injury to the "cuff" of cartilage, called the labrum, in the shoulder joint. The injury is very common, especially among throwers and active athletes. Injuries either occur from repetitive activity such as throwing or serving in tennis, or from a fall onto the shoulder. Labral injuries are commonly seen along with shoulder separations as well.

Our Approach to SLAP Tear

UCSF is committed to helping patients with superior labrum anterior-to-posterior (SLAP) tears recover shoulder function and return to their favorite activities. Our team includes orthopedic surgeons, shoulder and other joint specialists, primary care physicians trained in sports medicine, physical therapists and athletic trainers. We work together to tailor a treatment plan to each patient's needs and goals.

Treatment for a SLAP tear usually begins with rest, ice and physical therapy. We offer the full range of physical rehabilitation treatments, including exercise regimens, functional activities and neuromuscular reeducation, in addition to providing information and instruction. Patients who continue to experience pain that interferes with daily activities or athletics may choose to have surgery. Our orthopedic surgeons are experts in minimally invasive techniques, using small incisions and specialized instruments to repair the injury and facilitate healing.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Best hospital in Northern California

  • usnews-orthopedics

    One of the nation’s best in orthopedics

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.