Invited Clinical Commentary

The Recognition and Treatment of Superior Labral (SLAP) Lesions in the Overhead Athlete

Authors: Wilk KE, Macrina LC, Cain l, Dugas JR, Andrews JR

The overhead athlete presents with a unique profile that may predispose them to specific pathology. Injury to the superior aspect of the glenoid labrum (SLAP lesions) poses a significant challenge to the rehabilitation specialist due to the complex nature and wide variety of etiological factors associated with these lesions. A thorough clinical evaluation and proper identification of the extent of labral injury is important in order to determine the most appropriate non-operative and/or surgical management. Post-operative rehabilitation is based on the specific surgical procedure that has been performed, as well as the extent, location, and mechanism of labral pathology and associated lesions. Emphasis is placed on protecting the healing labrum while gradually restoring range of motion, strength, and dynamic stability of the glenohumeral joint. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the anatomy and pathomechanics of SLAP lesions and review specific clinical examination techniques used to identify these lesions in the overhead athlete. Furthermore, a review of the current surgical management and post-operative rehabilitation guidelines are provided.

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