JOURNAL ARTICLE

Superior labrum anterior to posterior tears and glenohumeral instability

Mandeep S Virk, Robert A Arciero
Instructional Course Lectures 2013, 62: 501-14
23395054
Cadaver experiments and clinical studies suggest that the superior labrum-biceps complex plays a role in glenohumeral stability. Superior labrum anterior to posterior (SLAP) tears can be present in acute and recurrent glenohumeral dislocations and contribute to glenohumeral instability. Isolated SLAP tears can cause instability, especially in throwing athletes. Diagnosing a SLAP tear on the basis of the clinical examination alone is difficult because of nonspecific history and physical examination findings and the presence of coexisting intra-articular lesions. Magnetic resonance arthrography is the imaging study of choice for diagnosing SLAP tears; however, arthroscopy remains the gold standard for diagnosis. Arthroscopy is the preferred technique for the repair of a type II SLAP tear and its variant types (V through X) in acute glenohumeral dislocations and instability in younger populations. Clinical outcome studies report a low recurrence of glenohumeral instability after the arthroscopic repair of a SLAP tear in addition to a Bankart repair. Long-term follow-up studies and further advances in arthroscopic fixation techniques will allow a better understanding and improvement in outcomes in patients with SLAP tears associated with glenohumeral instability.

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