Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of SLAP and biceps reflection pulley lesions. The hypothesis was that these lesions do not occur concomitantly and they have a different etiology.
Methods: We prospectively analyzed 3,395 shoulder arthroscopies that were independently performed by 2 surgeons between 2004 and 2008 regarding the prevalence of SLAP and biceps pulley lesions. Intraoperative findings were correlated with patient history and clinical examination. Exclusion criteria were type I SLAP lesions, full-thickness rotator cuff tears, and a history of shoulder dislocation.
Results: This study included 182 patients with SLAP lesions (prevalence, 5.4%; 138 men; mean age, 47 years) and 87 patients with pulley lesions (prevalence, 2.6%; 63 men; mean age, 49 years). Isolated SLAP lesions were present in 157 cases, and isolated pulley lesions in 62 cases. The concomitant presence of a SLAP lesion and pulley lesion was significantly rare (10%, P = .003). In 55 (35%; 42 men [76%]; mean age, 43 years) of the cases with isolated SLAP lesions and 40 (65%; 27 men [68%]; mean age, 49 years) with isolated pulley lesions, there was a significant association with history of trauma (P < .01). Most SLAP lesions (32 [58%], P = .174 [not significant]) and most pulley lesions (28 [70%], P < .01) resulted from falling on the outstretched arm with external arm rotation in SLAP lesions and internal rotation in pulley lesions (P > .05).
Conclusions: The concomitant presence of biceps tendon-associated lesions in the form of SLAP and pulley lesions is significantly rare. A history of falling on the abducted and externally rotated arm was typical in patients with SLAP lesions, whereas a fall on the arm with internal rotation was often noted in patients with pulley lesions.
Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.
Copyright © 2011 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.