The diagnosis and treatment of superior labrum, anterior and posterior (SLAP) lesions

Am J Sports Med. Sep-Oct 2003;31(5):798-810. doi: 10.1177/03635465030310052901.


The advent of shoulder arthroscopy, as well as our improved understanding of shoulder anatomy and biomechanics, has led to the identification of previously undiagnosed lesions involving the superior labrum and biceps tendon anchor. Although the history and physical examination, as well as improved imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance arthrography, are extremely important in understanding the abnormalities, the definitive diagnosis of superior labrum, anterior and posterior lesions is best made through diagnostic arthroscopy. Treatment of these lesions is directed according to its type. In general, type I and III lesions are debrided, whereas type II and many type IV lesions are repaired. The purpose of this article is to review the anatomy, biomechanics, classification, diagnosis, and current treatment recommendations for these lesions, as well as to review the literature.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthrography / methods
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Debridement
  • Humans
  • Ligaments, Articular / injuries*
  • Ligaments, Articular / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Syndrome