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A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology

Official Journal of the Piedmontese-Ligurian-Lombard Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology
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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2012 August;63(4):229-40

language: English

Superior labral anterior to posterior lesions of the shoulder: a concise review

Birns M., Andrachuk J., Roth N., Galano G.

Department of Orthopaedics, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY, USA


Superior labrum anteroposterior (SLAP) tears were originally described in 1985 as tears of the superior labrum associated with pathology of the long head of the biceps tendon at its attachment site, the supraglenoid tubercle. The term was later popularized and classified as a SLAP lesion in 1990. The reported incidence of SLAP lesions varies from 1.2% to 1.8% in the literature, yet its true incidence in the population is unknown and may be significantly higher. A familiarity with the glenoid labrum anatomy, structure, and its function is necessary to understand the etiology of SLAP tears. The ability to diagnose these lesions by exam, magnetic resonance imaging, arthrography and arthroscopy is essential to the surgeon in order to carry out the appropriate treatment course. The purpose of this article is to review the key features of SLAP lesions outlined in previous studies, as well as discuss the current literature with regards to diagnosis and operative management. Specifically, we will focus on the treatment options and outcomes for type II SLAP tears, as this has been a heavily debated topic among orthopedic surgeons in the recent years.

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