Biceps Tenodesis Has Greater Expected Value Than Repair for Isolated Type II SLAP Tears: A Meta-analysis and Expected-Value Decision Analysis


      To use an expected-value decision analysis to determine the optimal treatment decision between repair and biceps tenodesis (BT) for an isolated type II SLAP injury.


      An expected-value decision analysis with sensitivity analysis was performed to systematically quantify the clinical decision. To determine outcome probabilities, a decision tree was constructed (repair vs BT) and a meta-analysis was conducted. To determine outcome utilities, we evaluated 70 patients with a chief complaint of shoulder pain regarding age, sex, Shoulder Activity Level, and visual analog scale score in terms of potential outcome preferences. Statistical fold-back analysis was performed to determine the optimal treatment. One-way sensitivity analysis determined the effect of changing the reinjury rate on the expected value of BT.


      The overall expected value was 8.66 for BT versus 7.19 for SLAP repair. One-way sensitivity analysis showed that BT was the superior choice if reinjury rates were expected to be lower than 28%. Meta-analysis of 23 studies and 908 patients revealed that the probability of a “well” outcome was significantly greater for BT (87.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 74.9%-94.6%; I2 = 0.0%) than for SLAP repair (62.9%; 95% CI, 55.9%-69.3%; I2 = 65.9%; P = .0023). The rate of reinjury was 1.5% for BT (95% CI, 0.05%-33.8%; I2 = 0.0%) and 6.4% for repair (95% CI, 4.2%-9.6%; I2 = 24%), which was not statistically significantly different (P = .411). A total of 50 participants (mean age, 25.4 years [standard deviation, 8.9 years]; 76% male patients; 50% overhead athletes) met the inclusion criteria. Forty-six percent of participants had a high Shoulder Activity Level score.


      Decision analysis showed that BT is preferred over repair for an isolated type II SLAP tear based on greater expected value of BT versus repair. Meta-analysis showed more frequent favorable outcomes with BT. Surgeons can use this information to tailor discussions with patients.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, meta-analysis of Level I-IV studies.
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