Percutaneous SLAP lesion repair technique is an effective alternative to portal of Wilmington

Gregory J Galano, Christopher S Ahmad, Louis Bigliani, William Levine
Orthopedics 2010 November 2, 33 (11): 803
Athletes with superior labral tear from anterior to posterior (SLAP) lesions place large demands on their rotator cuff and often have partial articular-sided rotator cuff tears as part of an internal impingement process. A percutaneous technique that facilitates SLAP repair may decrease the rotator cuff morbidity associated with establishment of the standard Wilmington portal. The current study reports the clinical outcome of patients with SLAP lesions treated with a percutaneous repair technique. Twenty-two patients with SLAP lesions underwent percutaneous repair. Mean patient age was 26.9 years. Standard posterior viewing and anterior working portals were used. Anchor placement and suture passing were performed with a 3-mm percutaneous and transtendinous approach to the superior labrum. Knot tying was performed via the standard anterior working portal. Clinical outcomes were assessed with validated shoulder evaluation instruments. Mean follow-up was 31.1 months (±6.6 months). Improvement of shoulder evaluation scores from pre- to postoperative were as follows: American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score improved from 49.5 to 83.6, visual analog scale improved from 5.4 to 1.5, and Simple Shoulder Score improved from 6.4 to 11.0. All were significant improvements (P<.05). There was no significant difference in functional scores between Type II lesions versus combined lesions, or between patients with or without a concurrent low-grade rotator cuff tear. Ninety percent of athletes were able to return to sport at pre-injury level of function. Percutaneously-assisted arthroscopic SLAP lesion repair may minimize surgical morbidity to the rotator cuff and provides excellent results.

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