Lower Reoperation and Higher Return-to-Sport Rates After Biceps Tenodesis Versus SLAP Repair in Young Patients: A Systematic Review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Arthroscopy, sports medicine, and rehabilitation








Purpose: To evaluate patient-reported outcomes, return to sport, and adverse events after SLAP repair versus biceps tenodesis (BT) in a young patient population undergoing treatment of SLAP tears. Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the PubMed (MEDLINE), Scopus, CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), and Web of Science databases for comparative studies discussing outcomes after SLAP repair and BT in patients younger than 40 years with at least 1 year of follow-up. Results: Four studies were included, comprising a total of 274 patients who underwent treatment of SLAP tears with SLAP repair (169 patients) or BT (105 patients). Most patients were male patients (79.8%) and athletes (74.5%). Preoperative and postoperative pain visual analog scale scores decreased similarly in both groups (range, 6.6-6.7 preoperatively to 0.8-2.6 postoperatively in SLAP repair group vs 5.6-7.3 preoperatively to 0.7-1.9 postoperatively in BT group). Similar and substantial American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment score increases were observed after both procedures (range, 40.6-45.8 preoperatively to 75.4-92.0 postoperatively in SLAP repair vs 41.9-55.0 preoperatively to 85.7-91.2 postoperatively in BT group). Patient satisfaction rates were similar but showed slightly higher ranges after BT (8.5-8.8 vs 8.0-8.2). Rates of return to sport were higher after BT (63%-85% vs 50%-76%), with higher odds of returning to sport after BT reported by all studies. Surgical complications were rare after SLAP repair and BT. Rates of reoperation were substantially higher after SLAP repair (3%-15% vs 0%-6%), with 3 of 4 studies reporting no reoperations after BT. BT comprised 78% to 100% of reoperation procedures after SLAP repair. Conclusions: Postoperative pain, function, and patient satisfaction were similar after SLAP repair and BT in patients younger than 40 years. There are higher rates of reoperation and lower rates of return to sport after SLAP repair than after BT. Level of Evidence: Level III, systematic review of Level III studies.


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