Post Operative Instructions
Arthroscopic SLAP repairs are done with minimally invasive techniques. SLAP stands for Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior lesion. This problem is characterized by a tear of the cartilage from the top of the glenoid. This cartilage is vital to the stability and function of your shoulder. It is also the insertion of the long head of the biceps muscle. This muscle is the “Popeye” muscle in your arm. Its anchor, or insertion, is at the top of the labrum and is a common anatomical landmark found during every arthroscopy of the shoulder. Inferior labrum tears are also called Bankhart lesions and are associated with prior shoulder dislocations. Although SLAP lesions are in the same family, they are characterized by positional pain. Your motion will be limited to Codman exercises for the first seven to ten days. I may limit your overhead activities for a short while to allow the repair to heal.
The link below helps explain SLAP and Bankhart lesions of the shoulder.
During surgery I will take pictures of the inside of your shoulder. These will be given to you before you leave the hospital. Please bring them to your first clinic appointment so that we may review your surgery together. These are the only copies, so be sure to hold on to them for future reference . After the surgery, you and I will review your operative photographs and I will show you where your labrum was torn.
Showers can be taken on post op day three after the dressings have been removed. Please do not take a bath or swim until sutures are removed or you are seen in the office. Swelling and discoloration are common. Redness outside of the suture line and drainage occurring longer than three days post operatively should be brought to my attention immediately. Please call the office if you have questions or concerns.
Physical therapy begins at home when pain permits. This should start by day two or three. Carefully remove the sling and allow your hand to point to the floor straightening the arm at the elbow. Lean over and begin gentle swinging motions, circular motions, and figure of eight motions. This set of exercises is described as pendulum or Codman exercises. These can be done as frequently as tolerated and are great to get the shoulder moving. After the first office visit, physical therapy will be resumed. Strengthening exercises will be resumed as soon as the surgical pain ends. Specific physical therapy instructions will be given to you at your first post op visit. You should avoid overhead activities for now.