SLAP vs Bankart tears – What is it and what is the recovery going to be like for Taron Johnson?

Photo of CB Taron Johnson from

Taron Johnson will need help opening his Christmas presents this year. It is a little hard to do one-handed. Johnson finally underwent surgery to repair the labrum injury he suffered in the 1st week of the season.

A SLAP injury is a superior labral tear which leads to shoulder instability. A Bankart tear is usually the result of a sudden shoulder dislocation. The average recovery time following surgery is 4-6 months for both types of injury.

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Initially, Johnson will be in a sling to keep the shoulder from moving to allow the incisions and the repair to begin the healing process. He will then begin ROM and strengthening exercises as part of the physical therapy protocol.

The major issue following surgery for both of these type of tears is regaining strength in the rotator cuff muscles while maximizing the range of motion in the joint itself and limiting pain in the repaired joint. Most repairs are done arthroscopically because recovery time is greatly reduced following arthroscopic repairs.

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With current surgical repairs, the success rate for a pre-injury return to form is over 85%.  The Labrum is a cuff of cartilage around the edge of the shallow shoulder socket which helps to provide additional depth to the shoulder joint.

It is especially important in athletes who need to raise and lower their arms as part of their on-field activity. Mark Sanchez and Braxton Miller are two athletes who underwent surgery and have returned to the playing field.

We will wish him a Merry Christmas and hopefully, his recovery will be uneventful and he will be ready for OTAs in the spring.

Editor’s babble: Amazing how long Taron Johnson played with the injury this season. He must be one tough cookie. Thanks as always to Dr. Beth Sullivan for her contributions to our blog. You can find Beth on Twitter @GAPeachPolymer.

About Beth Sullivan

I am a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan who grew up in Hamburg, NY but now lives outside Athens, GA. I have been married to a Patriots, Red Sox and Packers fan for over 30 years and we are the proud parents of 5 kids and 8 grandkids. I am a board certified osteopathic physician with over 20 years experience. I am also a polymer clay artist and create one of a kind polymer pieces for jewelry, and home decor. You can see some of my recent work on Instagram @georgiapeachpolymer. If you have an idea for a topic you would like to see covered, shoot me a message on Twitter @GAPeachPolymer