Return to Sport After Arthroscopic Superior Labral Anterior Posterior Repair. A Systematic Review


– Background on SLAP lesions and their impact on athletes’ ability to return to sport
– Overview of study objective to evaluate return to sport rates after arthroscopic SLAP repair


– Systematic review methodology
– Searched 4 databases from inception through January 2018
– Included English studies reporting on return to activity after arthroscopic SLAP repair
– Data extracted included demographics, surgical procedure details, return to activity rates
– Quality assessment using MINORS tool


– 22 studies included involving 944 patients undergoing SLAP repair
– 270 overhead athletes, including 146 pitchers
– Overall return to sport rate was 69.6% (657/944 patients)
– Return to pre-injury level of play was 69.0% (562/815 patients)
– Mean time to return to sport was 8.9 months
– Pitchers had lower return to sport rate of 57.5% versus 87.1% in non-pitchers


– Main finding that 70% of patients returned to sport after SLAP repair
– Timeframe of 9 months for return to sport is consistent with postoperative rehab protocol
– Lower return to sport rates in overhead athletes, especially baseball pitchers, highlights demands of their sport
– Randomized trials comparing non-operative management versus SLAP repair are needed
– Study limited by heterogeneity in surgical technique, concomitant procedures, rehab protocols across studies


– Arthroscopic SLAP repair allows most patients to return to sport by 9 months
– However, overhead athletes and pitchers have lower rates of return to same level of sport
– Findings should be used to set appropriate expectations preoperatively for athletes considering SLAP repair
– Future research directions include randomized trials comparing SLAP repair to non-operative management

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