Current Practice for the Surgical Treatment of SLAP Lesions: A Systematic Review

Author ORCID Identifier

Aaron SciasciaORCID iD icon


Exercise and Sport Science

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Purpose To analyze current literature reporting surgical treatment of SLAP lesions to examine the consistency of reported surgical details (surgical indications, surgical technique, and postoperative rehabilitation) that are deemed important for best treatment outcomes and to try to establish a consensus regarding treatment. Methods A systematic review of papers reporting surgical treatment of a SLAP lesion was performed. Each paper was analyzed for the description of (1) the arthroscopic indications for surgery; (2) surgical aspects including type, location, and number of anchors and sutures; (3) description of criteria for determination of completeness of the repair; and (4) postoperative rehabilitation details. These findings were also analyzed to determine whether a consensus could be developed regarding surgical treatment. Results Twenty-six papers were included, with 12 focused on isolated SLAP repair and 14 focused on combined SLAP repair with other lesions; 54% did not report indications for surgery. Reporting of the anchor/suture details was not consistent, with 35% reporting some variation of 12:00 placement but 31% not reporting the position of placement; 89% of papers did not report the criteria for determining completeness of the repair; 85% reported general postoperative rehabilitation guidelines, but only 4% reported in-depth details. Conclusions This review demonstrated a wide variability in the reported surgical aspects and that a relatively high percentage of papers did not report many of the details. This lack of precision and consistency makes analysis of individual papers and comparison between papers and their outcomes difficult and does not allow a consensus regarding current practice to be developed. These findings may be some of the factors responsible for the variability in treatment outcomes and suggest that efforts could be directed toward consistency in documenting and reporting surgical indications, surgical techniques, surgical endpoints, and efficacious rehabilitation programs. Level of Evidence Level IV, systematic review of level III-IV studies.

Journal Title

Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery

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