How Much Does Slap Tear Surgery Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

A SLAP, the abbreviation for superior labrum anterior to posterior, tear is an injury to the labrum of the shoulder, which is the cartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint.  Injuries to this area can be caused by a car accident, a fall, a forceful pull or dislocation.   This injury, according to WebMD, was first spotted in the early 1980s in athletes, like baseball players who required them to do a lot of overhead throwing.

This repair will be needed when there’s a tear in the shoulder, to help allow the shoulder to become more stable and secure the arm bone in its socket.

Shoulder incisions by scjody, on Flickr
Shoulder incisions” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by scjody

How much does shoulder slap tear surgery cost?

The cost of SLAP tear surgery will depend on the complexity of the surgery, the surgeon performing the procedure, the hospital, billing inclusions, geographical location and if insurance is involved.  On average, the surgery is going to vary anywhere from $15,000 to as much as $33,000 without health insurance.  This is confirmed by NY Ortho Sports.

In terms of the hospital billing, you can expect the whole procedure to be included with the fee as well as the professional fee for the doctor who will perform the surgery.  This estimate should also include your pre- and post-operative care; however, don’t be surprised, as noted in our “extra costs” section below if more bills come in the mail.

For those who do have health insurance, this type of procedure will be covered if it is deemed medically necessary by the doctor.  Since all health insurance policies will vary, it is best to check with your carrier to know the costs for which you will be responsible.  Some insurance companies require a co-pay or a deductible, while others may charge you a percentage of the total cost.

The Shoulder Center says the price of SLAP tear surgery can range anywhere from $21,000 to $33,000 without insurance.

SLAP surgery overview

Before the procedure starts, a surgeon will want to take x-rays and/or an MRI to get a good look at the shoulder to see exactly what may be causing your shoulder pain.  There can be times when SLAP surgery is not required, but rather physical therapy can help strengthen the joints.

If surgery is required, then the glenoid and labrum parts of the shoulder will be roughened to increase contact and promote re-growth.  Bone anchors can then be placed in selected areas, and the number of anchors will greatly depend on the severity of the tear.

What are the extra costs?

After the surgery has been done, you may have to rest in the hospital for a few days.  This can be considered to be an additional cost.  Without insurance, each hospital stay can easily start at $800 to $2,000 per night depending on the geographical location.

Anesthesia administered during the operation can often be outside of the surgery fee.  This alone can vary anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 without insurance.

Surgeon and miscellaneous fees can be tacked on outside of the hospital bill.

After the surgery has been performed, plan on attending physical therapy sessions for a few weeks until your shoulder is at full strength again.  These sessions can range anywhere from $60 to $150 per session without insurance.

Tips to know:

When you feel symptoms that can lead to a SLAP tear, it would be better to have it checked early to make sure that the damage does not spread and it can be contained in a small area.  Symptoms of a SLAP tear can include a dull throbbing ache in the joints. a popping/clicking noise in the shoulder, a pain when throwing and/or a feeling of weakness in the shoulder.

After the procedure, plan on wearing a sling for up to six weeks.  Because of this difficulty, you may need assistance with daily routines such as putting on clothes and cooking meals.

How can I save money?

Get a second opinion as surgery isn’t always necessary.  As stated above, physical therapy can often bring the shoulder back to full strength if the damage isn’t extreme.

Try to check with your medical insurance company how much they can cover for the surgery.  If you do not have insurance, consider looking for a policy on websites such as

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Average Reported Cost: $80950

50 %
50 %
Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. palos surgicenter (palos heights,  Illinois) paid $55900 and said:

    ridiculous cost.
    this place is way over

    Was it worth it? No

  2. D (Phoenix,  Arizona) paid $106000 and said:

    AZ Ortho

    Was it worth it? Yes

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