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Superior labral anterior-posterior lesions in rock climbers—primary double tenodesis?

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 21(3):261 (2011) PMID 21487291

Shoulder problems, especially SLAP (superior labral anterior-posterior) lesions, are frequent in rock climbers. Although various SLAP repair methods demonstrate 75% to 97% good functional outcomes in general population, the results in overhead athletes are inconsistent and the question whether a primary tenodesis is more efficient arises. Prospective cohort study. The patients were treated as inpatient surgical patients, and the follow-up was performed after 6 months and 2 years. Six high-level rock climbers with SLAP lesions and degeneration of the long biceps tendon anchor or additional pulley lesions were surgically treated with primary tenodesis. Primary tenodesis was performed for SLAP lesions in high-level climbers. The postoperative outcome was assessed through physical examination after 6 months and 2 years, Constant-Murley score, re-establishment of initial climbing ability level, and self-perception of the function of the shoulder and climbing ability. All climbers regained their initial climbing level after 6 months. The Constant-Murley score (mean, 97.3%) showed an excellent functional outcome. The self-perception of the shoulder function and climbing ability was 96.8% of normal. The primary biceps tenodesis is proved to be a reliable alternative to arthroscopic SLAP repair in overhead athletes, especially if constant microtrauma persists. 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

DOI: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e31821a61e3