Concomitant Biceps Tenodesis Does Not Portend Inferior Outcomes After Anterior Glenohumeral Stabilization

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The American journal of sports medicine








SLAP; anterior instability; biceps tenodesis; labral repair


BACKGROUND: Military patients are known to suffer disproportionately high rates of glenohumeral instability as well as superior labrum anterior to posterior (SLAP) tears. Additionally, a concomitant SLAP tear is frequently observed in patients with anterior shoulder instability. Even though biceps tenodesis has been demonstrated to produce superior outcomes to SLAP repair in military patients with isolated SLAP lesions, no existing studies have reported on outcomes after simultaneous tenodesis and anterior labral repair in patients with co-existing abnormalities. PURPOSE: To evaluate outcomes after simultaneous arthroscopic-assisted subpectoral biceps tenodesis and anterior labral repair in military patients younger than 40 years. We also sought to compare these outcomes with those after repair of an isolated anterior labral tear. STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. METHODS: This study is a retrospective analysis of all military patients younger than 40 years from a single base who underwent arthroscopic anterior glenohumeral stabilization with or without concomitant biceps tenodesis between January 2010 and December 2019. Patients with glenoid bone loss of >13.5% were not eligible for inclusion. Outcome measures including the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, the Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE), the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) shoulder score, the Rowe instability score, and range of motion were administered preoperatively and postoperatively, and scores were compared between groups. RESULTS: A total of 82 patients met inclusion criteria for the study. All patients were active-duty service members at the time of surgery. The mean follow-up was 87.75 ± 27.05 months in the repair + tenodesis group and 94.07 ± 28.72 months in the isolated repair group ( = .3085). Patients who underwent repair + tenodesis had significantly worse preoperative VAS pain (6.85 ± 1.86 vs 5.02 ± 2.07, respectively; < .001), ASES (51.78 ± 11.89 vs 62.43 ± 12.35, respectively; = .0002), and Rowe (26.75 ± 7.81 vs 37.26 ± 14.91, respectively; = .0002) scores than patients who underwent isolated repair. Both groups experienced significant improvements in outcome scores postoperatively ( < .0001 for all), and there were no statistically significant differences in postoperative outcome scores or range of motion between groups. There were no differences in the percentage of patients who achieved the minimal clinically important difference, substantial clinical benefit, and patient acceptable symptom state for the VAS pain, SANE, ASES, and Rowe scores between groups. Overall, 37 of the 40 (92.50%) patients in the repair + tenodesis group and 40 of the 42 (95.24%) patients in the isolated repair group returned to unrestricted active-duty military service ( = .6045). In addition, 38 (95.00%) patients in the repair + tenodesis group and 40 (95.24%) patients in the isolated repair group returned to preinjury levels of sporting activity ( = .9600). There were no significant differences in the number of failures, revision surgical procedures, or patients discharged from the military between groups ( = .9421, = .9400, and = .6045, respectively). CONCLUSION: The findings of this study indicate that simultaneous biceps tenodesis and labral repair was a viable treatment option for the management of concomitant SLAP and anterior labral lesions in young, active military patients younger than 40 years.


School of Medicine and Health Sciences Student Works