An analysis of 140 injuries to the superior glenoid labrum

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1995 Jul-Aug;4(4):243-8. doi: 10.1016/s1058-2746(05)80015-1.


Between 1985 and 1993 140 injuries of the superior glenoid labrum were identified on arthroscopic evaluation and were recalled from a data bank of 2375 shoulder procedures performed during that time. The average patient age was 38 years, and 91% of the patients were men. The most common problem was pain, with 49% of all patients noting mechanical catching or grinding in their shoulders. No preoperative imaging modality consistently defined disease in the superior labral area. Fifty-five percent of all lesions were type II, 21% were type I, 10% were type IV, 9% were type III, and 5% were complex. Twenty-nine percent of lesions were associated with a partial-thickness tear of the rotator cuff, 11% with a full-thickness tear, and 22% with an anterior Bankart lesion. Twenty-eight percent of the superior labral lesions seen were isolated and did not have any associated rotator cuff or anterior labral disease. Type I lesions were debrided. Fifty-six percent of type II lesions were debrided in conjunction with an abrasion of the underlying glenoid rim. More recently suture anchors have been used to stabilize type II lesions. Treatment of type III and IV lesions depended on the extent of labral tissue disruption and involved either debridement or suture repair. Repeat arthroscopies were performed on 18 shoulders. Three of five type lesions treated with debridement and glenoid abrasion were healed. Four of five type II lesions treated with an absorbable anchor were healed. Three type III and one type IV lesion treated with debridement had normal superior labrums. Two type IV injuries treated with suture repair had completely healed. Two complex type II and III injuries treated with debridement and anchor fixation were healed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotator Cuff / pathology
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery
  • Tendon Injuries
  • Tendons / pathology
  • Tendons / surgery