Outcomes of isolated type II SLAP lesions treated with arthroscopic fixation using a bioabsorbable tack

Arthroscopy. 2006 Feb;22(2):136-42. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2005.11.002.


Purpose: The objective was to clinically evaluate the treatment of type II Slap lesions repaired surgically using a bioabsorbable device.

Type of study: Retrospective clinical follow-up study.

Methods: Forty-one patients with isolated type II SLAP lesions who were treated with arthroscopic fixation were identified. Patients were excluded for rotator cuff tears, instability, or subacromial decompression. Patients completed the L'Insalata and the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) questionnaires, and underwent a thorough shoulder examination at a minimum of 2 years postoperatively.

Results: At a mean of 3.7 years follow-up, 33 of 41 patients returned for physical examination and 6 others returned the L'Insalata questionnaire. The mean L'Insalata and ASES scores were 86.7 and 86.8, respectively; 27 patients reported their satisfaction as good to excellent but only 14 of the 29 athletes returned to their preinjury level of athletics. The average ASES scores were statistically different in patients who had their rotator cuff pierced versus those who did not (P< .05). In addition, 13 of 16 patients who experienced night pain had a cuff piercing approach.

Conclusions: Despite high outcome scores, overall patient satisfaction was only 71%. In addition, up to 41% continued to experience some degree of night pain. Patients treated with a rotator cuff piercing had a significantly poorer outcome. Moreover, the patients who were athletes performed poorer on their outcomes evaluation than did their nonathletic counterparts. Whereas the outcome scores overall were high, this problem is still difficult to treat successfully. This may be because of the high demands of athletes. The data also suggest that placing portals through the rotator cuff may be associated with poorer surgical outcomes.

Level of evidence: Level III.

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome