SLAP Tear Definition

A SLAP tear is a torn piece of cartilage in the inner portion of the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint (glenohumeral joint). It can be painful and/or limit movement in the shoulder, especially overhead motions.

The shoulder labrum is a ring of cartilage around the shoulder socket that helps stabilize the head of the upper arm bone. A SLAP tear or lesion occurs when there is damage to the top of the labrum, where it connects to the biceps tendon.

SLAP is an acronym that stands for Superior (topmost) Labral tear from Anterior (front) to Posterior (back).

Anatomy of a SLAP tear compared to a health labrum