What is a SLAP Tear and Why is it so Common in a Car Accident?



A SLAP tear is an injury to the “cup” or “socket” in the ball-in-socket joint of your shoulder. It’s basically when the cartilage that forms the cup rips off the bone. That causes extreme pain, shoulder instability, range of motion decreases, and weakness.

SLAP tears are common in car accidents for two reasons. The first cause is seat belts holding the body back at the shoulder but still allowing the arm to fling forward. That yank-back and push-forward motion are what can tear the cartilage. The second cause is when the shoulder sustains direct damage, either because it was pulled and caught between crush points or in a seat, or due to a direct impact on the joint, which damages the socket.