Clinical outcomes of non-operative treatment for patients presenting SLAP lesions in diagnostic provocative tests and MR arthrography

Sang Jin Shin, Juyeob Lee, Yoon Sang Jeon, Young Won Ko, Rag Gyu Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: In the present prospective study, the functional outcomes of non-operative treatment were evaluated in patients aged between 30 and 45 years presenting SLAP lesion in diagnostic provocative tests and magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography. Methods: Forty-six patients with a symptomatic SLAP lesion who participated in recreational level of sports were prospectively enroled. SLAP lesion was diagnosed using combinations of several clinical tests and MR arthrography findings. All patients were treated with intra-articular corticosteroid injections, followed by rotator cuff and periscapular muscle-strengthening exercises. Patients with persistent discomfort after second injection underwent arthroscopic SLAP repair. Functional outcomes were evaluated using ASES and Constant scores, and pain and satisfaction for visual analogue scale (VAS). Results: Pain had significantly improved from 5.2 ± 2.2 to 1.0 ± 1.1 (p < 0.001) in all patients after the first corticosteroid injection. SLAP symptoms relapsed in 12 patients at an average of 2.4 months after the first injection. Symptoms were relieved in 5 of 12 patients after the second injection and strengthening exercises. The remaining seven patients underwent arthroscopic SLAP repair. Thirty-nine patients (85 %) who were treated non-operatively showed improved VAS, Constant, and ASES scores at final follow-up (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Non-operative treatment with an appropriate regimen provided satisfactory clinical outcomes in middle-aged patients with symptomatic SLAP lesions and should be considered before recommending operative treatment. Clinical relevance: Non-operative management using combined intra-articular corticosteroid injection with rotator cuff and periscapular strengthening exercises could be applied as primary treatment for patients with symptomatic SLAP lesion who participate in recreational level of sports. Level of evidence: IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3296-3302
Number of pages7
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Grant sponsor: National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF); Grant Number: NRF-2013RIAIA2008601.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA).


  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Non-operative treatment
  • SLAP lesion


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