Since their first description several years ago, superior glenoid labral lesions have increasingly been blamed for shoulder problems associated with sports. Originally merely describing arthroscopically visible upper labral/biceps abnormalities, the current understanding is that often clinical problems such as impingement pain or even rotator cuff disease can be secondary to these lesions, especially in overhead athletes. Impingement in these cases is caused by superior shoulder instability originating from an unstable biceps insertion that is present for example in SLAP (superior labrum from anterior to posterior) lesions. Additional problems such as internal or posterosuperior impingement that are often found simultaneously in these patients are pathomorphologically located in the same anatomical region and therefore make exact diagnosis and thus treatment more complex. Magnetic resonance imaging with intra-articular contrast enhancement and particularly arthroscopy are the primary tools for exact diagnosis and classification of superior labral/biceps pathology. Therapeutically, lesions with unstable biceps origin (SLAP types 2 and 4) require operative refixation, as we have seen in our 50 cases in the last 4 years, in order to reestablish the stabilising effect of the biceps tendon for the shoulder joint. The arthroscopic technique for repair of these lesions using different devices of implantable suture anchors is presented. Long-term pain-free shoulder function in competitive athletes, throwers in particular, thus requires anatomical reconstruction of the originally unstable biceps, which is the causal therapy for these lesions.
- Athlete's shoulder
- Suture anchor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine