Superior labrum anterior-to-posterior repair incidence: a longitudinal investigation of community and academic databases

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2014 Jun;23(6):e119-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2013.11.002. Epub 2014 Feb 1.


Background: Superior labrum anterior-to-posterior (SLAP) lesion repair is controversial regarding indications and potential complications.

Methods: Databases were used to determine the SLAP repair incidence compared with all orthopaedic procedures over a period of 10 years. In part A, the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System ambulatory surgery database was investigated from 2002 to 2009. In part B, the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development ambulatory surgery database was investigated from 2005 to 2009. In part C, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) database was investigated from 2003 to 2010.

Results: In part A, from 2002 to 2009, there was a 238% increase in SLAP repair volume compared with a 125% increase in all orthopaedic procedures. In part B, from 2005 to 2009, there was a 20.17% increase in SLAP repair volume compared with a decrease of 13.64% in all orthopaedic procedures. In part C, among candidates performing at least 1 SLAP repair, there was no statistically significant difference in likelihood of performing a SLAP repair (95% confidence interval, 0.973-1.003) in 2010 as compared with 2003 (P > .10).

Conclusions: There has been a significant increase in the incidence of SLAP repairs in the past 10 years in statewide databases. This pattern was not seen in the ABOS database, in which the annual volume of SLAP repairs remained stable over the same period. This suggests that SLAP lesions have been over-treated with surgical repair but that part II ABOS candidates are becoming more aware of the need to narrow indications.

Level of evidence: Epidemiology study, database analysis.

Keywords: ABOS; OSHPD; SLAP lesion; SPARCS; incidence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data
  • Arthroscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Fibrocartilage / injuries
  • Fibrocartilage / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery*
  • United States / epidemiology