Purpose: The purpose of this study was to systematically review the literature regarding the outcome of arthroscopic repair of type II SLAP lesions in order to assess the effectiveness of current methods of treatment.
Methods: We performed a systematic review of the results of repair of type II SLAP lesions. Inclusion criteria included outcome studies of repair of type II SLAP lesions with minimum 2-year follow-up and Level IV evidence or higher published in the English language in peer-reviewed journals.
Results: There is no Level I or II evidence for SLAP repair outcome. Regarding the general outcome after type II SLAP repair, the percentage of good and excellent results ranged from 40% to 94%. Return to previous level of play ranged from 20% to 94%. Overhead athletes are the most challenging to return to the previous level of performance for this diagnosis, and their return rate reflects this. Five studies reported these results, and the rate of return ranged from 22% to 64% for baseball players.
Conclusions: Arthroscopic repair of type II SLAP tears results in overall excellent results for individuals not involved in throwing or overhead sports. The results of type II SLAP repair in throwing or overhead athletes are much less predictable. Future studies should be prospective in nature and at least use a longitudinal prospective cohort design to determine predictors of outcome.
Level of evidence: Level IV, systematic review of Level III and IV studies.
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