Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder News

Results of Arthroscopic Repair for SLAP Injury in Overhead Athletes

Athletes who throw overhead are at risk for injury to the shoulder. Trauma and overuse are the most common causes. In this study surgeons report on the results of arthroscopic repair of a type II SLAP lesion. Their main interest was in athletic activity after the operation.

SLAP stands for superior labral anterior posterior. It refers to a tear in the labrum of the shoulder joint. The labrum is a fibrous rim of cartilage around the socket of the shoulder. It helps give depth to the shallow opening where the ball-shaped head of the humerus fits.

A Type II SLAP lesion tells the surgeon where the tear is located. The upper (superior) part of the labrum and the biceps tendon are torn. Part of the biceps muscle attaches just above the labrum. A Type II SLAP lesion is unstable. Surgery is needed to repair the damage.

In this study overhead throwing athletes with a Type II SLAP injury were divided into two groups. The first group had a SLAP lesion as a result of overuse. The second group was injured by trauma. All players had an arthroscopic repair with two stitches. One suture was placed at the 11:00 position on the shoulder socket. Another suture went at the 1:00
position.

Ninety percent of the players returned to sports six months after a rehab program. Three fourths were able to play at their preinjury level with only a little discomfort now and then after playing.

The trauma group was more likely to have a complete return to their former level of play. Baseball players were less likely to return to full play compared to other athletes using overhead motions. The authors think the joint capsule might get stretched out over time in the overuse group. Baseball players must be more precise than other overhead athletes. These factors may explain the differences in results between groups of athletes.


Jinji Ide, MD, PhD, et al. Sports Activity after Arthroscopic Superior Labral Repair Using Suture Anchors in Overhead-Throwing Athletes. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. April 2005. Vol. 33. No. 4. Pp. 507-514.

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*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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