Progression of function and pain relief as indicators for returning to sports after arthroscopic isolated type II SLAP repair-a prospective study

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017 Jun 13;18(1):257. doi: 10.1186/s12891-017-1620-3.


Background: One of the currently used surgical techniques in isolated type II SLAP lesions is arthroscopic SLAP repair. Postoperatively, patients tend to suffer from a prolonged period of pain and are restricted in their sports activities for at least 6 months. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the clinical outcome as well as the postoperative course of pain after arthroscopic type II SLAP repair.

Methods: Outcome measures were assessed using the Individual Relative Constant Score (CSindiv), the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) Score, the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and the Short Form 36 (SF-36). Data were collected preoperatively, as well as at 3, 6, 12 and >24 months postoperatively.

Results: Eleven patients with an average age of 31.8 years (range: 22.8-49.8 years) underwent arthroscopic repair of isolated type II SLAP lesions. Mean follow-up time was 41.9 months (range: 36.1-48.4 months). 6 months after surgery, there was a statistically significant improvement of function according to the CSindiv (p = 0.004), the ASES Score (p = 0.006), and the SF-36 subscale "physical functioning" (p = 0.014) and a statistically significant decrease of pain according to the VAS (p = 0.007) and the SF-36 subscale "bodily pain" (p = 0.022) compared to preoperative levels.

Conclusions: Arthroscopic repair of isolated type II SLAP lesions with suture anchors leads to a satisfactory functional outcome and return to pre-injury sports levels, with delayed, but significant pain relief observed 6 months after surgery. Thus, a return to sports should not be allowed earlier than 6 months after surgery, when patients have reached pain-free function and recovered strength.

Trial registration: Researchregistry1761 (UIN).

Keywords: Functional outcome; Pain relief; Repair; Return to sports; SLAP II.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / adverse effects*
  • Arthroscopy / instrumentation
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedic Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / instrumentation
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Return to Sport*
  • Shoulder Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Injuries / surgery*
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery
  • Suture Anchors
  • Tendon Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult