Importance Superior labrum from anterior to posterior (SLAP) pathology can result in significant pain and functional limitation for a wide variety of patients. Although many different options have been described for the diagnosis and treatment of SLAP pathology, there is little high-quality evidence to support a given diagnosis/treatment method.
Objective The aim of this study was to review the global demographics and trends of SLAP literature, diagnosis, management and consistency of reported outcomes
Evidence review We performed a systematic search for studies addressing SLAP pathology published over the last 10 years. Extracted data included sample size, study location, intervention, outcome measures reported, sex distribution and level of evidence. Management was compared between geographic areas.
Findings We identified 363 studies reporting on SLAP management over the past decade that met our inclusion and exclusion criteria. The majority of studies originated from North America (50.4%), followed by Asia (22.3%) and Europe (20.9%) with most studies describing results of operative intervention originating from the USA (58.5%). We found the majority of literature related to SLAP pathology was case series level data (44.0%) consisting of sample sizes of less than 40 patients (50.1%). The majority of studies presented clinical outcome scores with the ASES score being the most commonly reported (28.3%). The most common complications reported were pain (32.6%) and stiffness (30.4%) following surgical intervention.
Conclusions Current literature related to the management of SLAP pathology demonstrates a predominance of North American studies with low levels of evidence consisting of small sample sizes and variably reported clinical outcome scores. Future research should focus on multicentre, randomised studies to clarify current controversies in the surgical versus non-operative management of SLAP pathology.
Relevance Significant demographic and geographic differences exist in the diagnosis and treatment of SLAP.
Level of evidence Level IV, systematic review of level I–IV studies.
- evidence based medicine
- outcome studies
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Contributors NKB and AB: substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work and the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data for the work. NKB, MK and AB: drafting the work and revising it critically for important intellectual content. All authors: final approval of the version to be published. All authors: agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. MK: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work. JMK: revising the work critically for important intellectual content. EP, GR, PR and LT: substantial contributions to the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data for the work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Our manuscript contains all of the data that were obtained in our original research study. There is no unpublished data from the study.
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