HSS Journal

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 58–62 | Cite as

Outcome of Arthroscopic Repair of Type II SLAP Lesions in Worker’s Compensation Patients

  • Nikhil N. VermaEmail author
  • Ralph Garretson
  • Anthony A. Romeo



Arthroscopic stabilization has become the accepted treatment for type II superior labral anterior and posterior (SLAP) lesions. Short-term results using a variety of techniques were promising, but most reports focus on motivated athletes. The purpose of our report is to evaluate the results of arthroscopic fixation of type II SLAP lesions in 21 patients who suffered a work-related injury and are receiving workers’ compensation. The hypothesis was that in patients with a single event trauma who were receiving workers’ compensation, clinical results would be inferior to those previously reported.


Twenty-two consecutive workers’ compensation patients with type II SLAP lesions underwent arthroscopic stabilization between October 1994 and December 1996. All patients received suture anchors with nonabsorbable suture secured around the labrum for definitive fixation. Average age at surgery was 43 and average follow-up time was 27.9 months. Seventeen patients (89%) had an acromioplasty at the time of labral stabilization. Outcome was assessed by analysis of visual analog pain scale, simple shoulder test (SST) and general health status questionnaire (SF-36), subjective patient satisfaction, and ability to return to work.


Visual analog pain scales improved by an average of 3 points although all patients had significant complaints of pain at follow-up. Simple shoulder test responses showed improvement in 9 out of 12 categories. The SF-36 results showed significant improvements only in the bodily pain category and role: physical category. Five patients required reoperation for persistent pain. However, only seven patients (437%) returned to work at their previous functional level, nine patients (47%) returned to work but at less strenuous jobs, and three patients (16%) did not return to work.


Currently recommended treatment for type II SLAP lesions is arthroscopic stabilization. When this procedure is performed in workers’ compensation, patients a with single event trauma to the shoulder, objective parameters, and patient self-assessment surveys do show improvement. However, results are inferior to those previously reported in the literature.

Key words

labrum SLAP shoulder 


  1. 1.
    Andrews JR, Carson WG Jr, McLeod WD (1985) Glenoid labrum tears related to the long head of the biceps. Am J Sports Med 13:337–341PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Snyder SJ, Karzel RP, Del Pizzo W, Ferkel R, Friedman MJ (1990) SLAP lesions of the shoulder. Arthroscopy 6(4):274–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gartsman GM, Hammerman SM (2000) Superior labrum, anterior and posterior lesions. When and how to treat them. Clin Sports Med 19(1):115–124PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Handleberg F, Willems S, Shahabpour M, Huskin J, Kuta J (1998) SLAP lesions: a retrospective multicenter study. Arthroscopy 14(8):856–862Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Morgan CD, Burkhart SS, Palmeri M, Gillespie M (1998) Type II SLAP lesions: three subtypes and their relationship to superior shoulder instability and rotator cuff tears. Arthroscopy 14(6):553–565PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Burkhart SS, Morgan CD (1998) The peel-back mechanism: its role in producing and extending posterior type II SLAP lesions and its effect on SLAP repair rehabilitation. Arthroscopy 14(6):637–640PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cordasco FA, Steinmann S, Flatow EL, Bigliani LU (1993) Arthroscopic treatment of glenoid labral tears. Am J Sports Med 21(3):425–431PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Samani JE, Marsten S, Rodosky MW, Buss DD (1997) The arthroscopic stabilization of type II SLAP lesions using a biodegradable tack. Arthroscopy 13(3):376Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Field LD, Savoie FH III (1993) Arthroscopic suture repair of superior labral detachment lesions of the shoulder. Am J Sports Med 21(6):783–790PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    O’Brien SJ, Allen AA, Coleman SH, Drakos MC (2002) The trans-rotator cuff approach to SLAP lesions: technical aspects for repair and a clinical follow-up of 31 patients at a minimum of 2 years. Arthroscopy 18(4):372–377PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Stetson WB, Karzel RP, Bana MP, Costigan W, Snyder SE (1997) Long-term clinical follow-up of 140 patients with injury to the superior glenoid labrum. Arthroscopy 13(3):376Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Maffet MW, Gartsman GM, Moseley B (1995) Superior labrum-biceps tendon complex lesions of the shoulder. Am J Sports Med 23(1):93–98PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jazrawi LM, McCluskey GM 3rd, Andrews JR (2003) Superior labral anterior and posterior lesions and internal impingement in the overhead athlete. Instr Course Lect 52:359–367Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hospital for Special Surgery 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikhil N. Verma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ralph Garretson
    • 1
  • Anthony A. Romeo
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryRush Medical College, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical CenterChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations