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Surgical SLAP Tear Treatments

Dr. Madsen will determine if nonsurgical treatments are sufficient for the SLAP tear treatment. If the tear is severe and/or conservative avenues have not provided relief, he may suggest a minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopic surgery.

man stretching

Non-Surgical SLAP Tear Treatments

Once Dr. Madsen has diagnosed the patient, the initial SLAP Tear Treatments may include simple lifestyle changes including:

Avoiding Activity

The first step towards relief is taking a break from sports, exercise and other physically demanding activities while allowing the shoulder to rest.

Physical Therapy

Dr. Madsen may prescribe exercises to increase shoulder strength. You may do these exercises on your own, or a physical therapist may teach you how to safely and properly stretch your shoulder muscles as not to damage the joint further.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Ibuprofen, naproxen, piroxicam, celecoxib, and others, may temporarily relieve pain and control inflammation. NSAIDS should be used cautiously and are not meant as a long-term solution. Dr. Madsen will explain the usage and side effects with you if prescribed.


Injection of a corticosteroid along with a local anesthetic may also be helpful in relieving symptoms of SLAP tears. This is a simple and effective treatment that can be done in the doctor’s office. The injection may provide temporary or permanent relief. If pain and inflammation return, another injection or two, given a few months apart, may be needed. It is important to limit the number of injections, as prolonged corticosteroid injections may damage the surrounding tissues.

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