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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2012 December;52(6):622-30

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Imaging of superior labral anterior to posterior (SLAP) tears of the shoulder

Simoni P. 1, Scarciolla L. 2, Kreutz J. 1, Meunier B. 1, Beomonte Zobel B. 1

1 Diagnostic Imaging Department, Université de Liège, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liege, Liege, Belgium; 2 Diagnostic Imaging Department, Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy


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Superior labral anterior to posterior (SLAP) tears include a number of abnormal changes of the superior glenoid labrum. SLAP tears have been first reported in elite young atlete and are caused by repetitive overhead motion or by a fall on an outstretched arm. SLAP can lead to chronic pain and instability of shoulder. A diagnosis of SLAP may be difficult on the basis of clinical tests. Hence, modern imaging, including computed tomography arthrography (CTA), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) play a key role in the diagnosis of SLAP. The large number of normal anatomic variants of the superior labrum and the surrounding structures make the interpretation of SLAP challenging on imaging and at arthroscopy. In this article the imaging of SLAP are discussed in detail along with relevant anatomy, anatomic variants and biomechanics.

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paolo.simoni@chu.ulg.ac.be