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Return to Sport and Patient-Reported Outcomes After Subpectoral Biceps Tenodesis for SLAP Tear in Collegiate Gymnasts.

BACKGROUND: The biceps superior labral complex is a known source of shoulder dysfunction in young, high-level athletes. Superior labral anterior-posterior (SLAP) repairs are often unsatisfactory for treating biceps-labral pathology in this demographic group, with high failure rates and poor return to sport (RTS). Minimal data have been published to demonstrate patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and RTS in gymnasts after treatment of SLAP pathologies.

HYPOTHESIS: Gymnasts undergoing biceps tenodesis for SLAP pathologies would have satisfactory PROs and satisfactory RTS.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: Gymnasts aged ≤25 years who underwent open subpectoral biceps tenodesis for SLAP tears with or without biceps tendon pathology between August 20, 2014, and August 20, 2019, and who had minimum 2-year follow-up data were included in this study. Tenodesis was performed using a subpectoral technique with bicortical button fixation. The following PROs were included: RTS, postoperative activity level, 10-point visual analog scale for pain (VAS-Pain), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores.

RESULTS: Of 16 shoulders in 14 gymnasts undergoing biceps tenodesis for SLAP tear during the study period, a follow-up was obtained for 13 of 16 shoulders (81%) at 4.3 ± 1.5 years. The mean age of patients at the time of surgery was 21.8 ± 2.2 years, with 12 (92%) male patients. Biceps tenodesis was performed as the primary procedure for the diagnosis of SLAP tear in 12 patients (92%) and for failed prior SLAP repair in 1 patient (8%). PROs were excellent at the follow-up, with VAS-Pain scores of 1.8 ± 1.7, ASES scores of 89.1 ± 9.1, and DASH scores of 2.4 ± 3.2. After surgery, 8 (62%) patients returned to their prior level of collegiate gymnastics. Three (60%) of 5 patients did not return to collegiate gymnastics because of the end of eligibility, and 2 (40%) patients did not return to collegiate gymnastics because of knee injuries. Significantly higher DASH scores were noted in the group that did not RTS ( P = .04). No patients experienced postoperative complications or reoperation.

CONCLUSION: Biceps tenodesis was an effective primary operation for high-level gymnasts with SLAP tears, with a satisfactory rate of return to the same level of sport and excellent PROs.

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