Biceps Tenodesis Demonstrates Lower Reoperation Rates Compared to SLAP Repair for Treatment of SLAP Tears in a Large Cross-Sectional Population

Published:December 14, 2021DOI:


      To use a contemporary cross-sectional data set to evaluate trends in surgical treatment for superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) tears and compare surgical outcomes with respect to 2-year revision surgery rates following index SLAP repair versus biceps tenodesis (BT).


      Patients diagnosed with a SLAP tear between 2010 and 2017 were queried using the Mariner PearlDiver database and stratified by demographic variables and surgical treatment with arthroscopic SLAP repair or arthroscopic/open BT. From 2015 to 2017, Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases 10th revision (ICD-10) codes were used to track ipsilateral subsequent reoperation within 2-years of index surgery.


      Between 2010 to 2017, 16.6% of 377,463 patients diagnosed with a SLAP tear underwent surgery (62.3% SLAP repair vs 37.7% BT). 52.4% of BT procedures were arthroscopic (47.6% open). The frequency of SLAP repairs decreased from 74.0% to 46.2% (61%), while the frequency of BTs increased from 26.0% to 53.8% (202%) during the study period. Patients under age 50 were more likely to undergo SLAP repair, and those undergoing BT were more likely to be over 50 with higher CCI and comorbidity risk. 6.3% of 16,186 patients identified with ICD-10 coding required reoperation within 2-years postoperatively. SLAP repair demonstrated a higher revision rate (6.8%; 95% CI, 6.3-7.4%) than BT (5.7%; 95% CI, 5.2-6.2%; P =.0002), (open 5.8% vs arthroscopic BT 5.5%). Arthroscopic debridement, including biceps tenotomy, revision SLAP repair, and revision BT were the most common subsequent procedures. Patients aged 40 to 49 had the highest rate of revision surgery (7.8%).


      The treatment trend for SLAP tears is changing, with SLAP repair becoming significantly less utilized and BT now becoming the preferred option, especially in patients over 50. Arthroscopic and open BT demonstrated slightly lower risk for reoperation than SLAP repair.

      Level of Evidence

      IV, cross-sectional study.
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