SLAP lesions are repaired by keyhole surgery (arthroscopically) through 2 or 3 small incisions. Some SLAP lesions can be simply debrided and cleaned, whilst most need repairing depending on the severity of the lesion. The associated lesions are also treated such as labrum and ligament lesions with Instability
About the operation
You will be given an anaesthetic and the anaesthetist will give you an additional ‘nerve block’ for pain relief. The nerve block is an injection onto or near the nerves in the shoulder for temporary pain control during and after the operation. The injection will either be an interscalene or suprascapular nerve block.
This is an operation to reattach the torn labrum back down to the shoulder socket. The surgeon re-attaches the labrum using small anchors and stitches. The operation is usually done by keyhole surgery (arthroscopy). Most people are given a full general anaesthetic, i.e. you will be asleep. Two to four, three millimetre to 10 millimetre puncture wounds are made around the side and the front of your shoulder to allow entry of the arthroscopic instruments; one of these is a camera, which allows the surgeon to thoroughly inspect the inside of the shoulder joint.
When will I go home?
You will be discharged home the same day as your operation.
Will I be in pain?
It is normal to feel some pain following your operation. You will be given some painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory medication to take in the days following the operation.
How long do I need to wear the sling?
Your arm is supported in a sling straight after your operation to protect the repair. It is essential that you wear the sling day and night for four weeks.
At eight to 10 weeks you can carefully return to light low risk activities. At three months, you can return to training and freestyle swimming. At around six months you should be able to return to full scale contact sports provided you have regained strength and, most importantly, control and confidence. It is usually best to discuss this with your surgeon first.