The purpose of this study was to evaluate the results of arthroscopic
repair of isolated superior labral lesions of the shoulder.
We evaluated thirty-four patients at a mean of thirty-three months
(range, twenty-four to forty-nine months) following arthroscopic
repair of an isolated superior labral lesion of the shoulder with
suture anchors. The outcome of treatment was evaluated with the
University of California at Los Angeles shoulder score and on the
basis of the patient's ability to return to prior activities. There
were thirty male patients and four female patients with a mean age
of twenty-six years (range, sixteen to thirty-five years). Thirty
patients were involved in athletic activities, and eighteen of them
were engaged in overhead sports.
Repair of the superior labral lesion resulted in a satisfactory University
of California at Los Angeles shoulder score for thirty-two patients
(94%) and an unsatisfactory score for two. Thirty-one patients (91%)
regained their preinjury level of shoulder function. The shoulder
score and the return to activity were correlated with the type of
sports activity (r = 0.291, p < 0.0001 and r = 0.373, p = 0.010,
respectively. Patients participating in overhead sports had significantly
lower shoulder scores and a lower percentage of return to their
preinjury level of shoulder function compared with patients who
were not engaged in overhead activity (p = 0.024 and 0.015, respectively).
Arthroscopic repair of an isolated superior labral lesion is successful
in a majority of patients. However, the results in patients who
participate in overhead sports are not as satisfactory as those
in patients who are not involved in overhead sports.