Clinical and Radiological Outcomes of Type 2 Superior Labral Anterior Posterior Repairs in Elite Overhead Athletes

Authors: Jin-Young Park, Seok-Won Chung, Seung-Hyub Jeon, Jun-Gyu Lee, and Kyung-Soo Oh

References: Am J Sports Med May 3, 2013

Background: Although there are multiple reports on surgical outcomes of type 2 superior labral anterior posterior (SLAP) repairs, a literature review noted a paucity of data on clinical and radiological outcomes in elite overhead athletes.

Purpose: To determine midterm clinical outcomes of type 2 SLAP repairs in elite overhead athletes and whether labral integrity provides consistent return to play.

Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: Medical records were retrospectively reviewed of 24 elite overhead athletes who underwent arthroscopic type 2 SLAP repairs. There were 18 men and 6 women, and their mean age was 22.7 years (range, 19-30 years); the majority of them (16/24) were baseball players. Four outcome measures were used: visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and satisfaction, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, subjective feeling of recovery, and return to play. Multidetector computed tomographic arthrography was performed to evaluate labral integrity after surgery.

Results: At a mean follow-up of 45.8 months (range, 24-68 months), overall pain and function improved significantly. The VAS for pain was 5.7 preoperatively and 2.0 postoperatively (P < .01), and VAS for satisfaction was 8.6. The ASES score was 55.8 preoperatively and 87.1 postoperatively (P < .01). The overall mean value of subjective feeling of recovery was approximately 76%. Twelve of 24 athletes (50%) returned to play after the operation. Although there was a trend toward higher return rate in the other overhead athletes (75%) compared with the baseball players (38%), this trend did not reach statistical significance (P = .097). Labral retear with clinical significance was noted in 2 athletes who failed to return to play. Osteolysis was observed in 2 athletes, 1 of whom had a retear. A statistical relation between the integrity of the repair and return to play was not found (P > .05).

Conclusion: Arthroscopic SLAP repairs show favorable clinical and radiological outcomes; however, the study findings raise a concern that return to play may still be problematic in elite baseball players. This study also indicates that labral healing does not ensure consistent return to play in elite overhead athletes.


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