Arthroscopic SLAP Repair
What is Arthroscopic SLAP Repair?
Arthroscopic SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior-Posterior) repair is a minimally invasive surgical procedure done to repair a tear in the shoulder labrum where it is attached to the biceps tendon. The shoulder labrum is rim of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket. The surgery is performed through button-hole incisions using a narrow instrument called an arthroscope, which allows visualisation of the inside of the joint and repair of injury to be done with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissues.
What is the aim of an Arthroscopic SLAP Repair?
The aim of the surgery is to alleviate painful shoulder symptoms and to maximize mobility and function of the shoulder.
What happens if a Arthroscopic SLAP Repair is left Untreated?
The patient will be at risk for recurrent shoulder dislocations, instability, frozen shoulder, and chronic pain.
Preparing for Arthroscopic SLAP Repair
- You must inform your doctor about your current health condition, medications, and allergies.
- You may have to undergo a physical exam and laboratory tests to ensure there are no contraindications for the surgery.
- You must avoid smoking or drinking as these activities slow down healing of tissue after surgery.
- You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything 6 hours before the surgery.
What happens during Arthroscopic SLAP Repair?
The surgery will usually be done under general and local anaesthesia so you will be asleep during the procedure. About one or two keyhole incisions will be made around the shoulder to allow for insertion of the arthroscope and other surgical instruments. The area of the SLAP tear will be identified and frayed tissue will be removed. The torn portion of the shoulder labrum will be attached to the bone of the shoulder socket with suture anchors that are screwed into the bone. Additional suture anchors may be used to reinforce the repair.These are Bioscrews which will dissolve in the body after about an year. The instruments are then removed and the incisions are then closed with sutures and the arm is placed in a sling. The procedure may be completed in 30-45 minutes.
Recovering after Arthroscopic SLAP Repair
Postsurgical recovery after Arthroscopic SLAP Repair is much easier than open shoulder surgery. You may need about 2 hours to recover from the effects of the anaesthesia. There may be some discomfort or pain in the shoulder for which you will be prescribed medications. Specific instructions about activity restrictions and how to maintain the sling when performing routine activities will be provided. You will be advised about follow-up appointments to assess your healing and to help you transition to non-restricted activity.
Risks of Arthroscopic SLAP Repair
Most patients do not have any complications from the procedure.