Return to play following nonsurgical management of superior labrum anterior-posterior tears: a systematic review

Review written by Stephen King info

Key Points

  1. Nonoperative treatment of superior labrum anterior-posterior (SLAP) tears in athletes can be successful, especially in the subset of patients who are able to complete their rehabilitation program before attempting a return to play.
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Superior labrum anterior-posterior (SLAP) tears are common shoulder injuries, especially in overhead athletes. To date, much of the literature regarding SLAP tears has focused on outcomes after surgical repair with a return to sports rate between 20%-79.5% following this intervention.

Often the initial management of these injuries is nonsurgical with focused rehabilitation. However, although focused shoulder rehabilitation is often recommended as initial treatment for these injuries, there has been relatively little literature focused on the outcomes of nonsurgical management.

Therefore, the aim of this paper was to evaluate the outcomes of nonsurgical management of SLAP tears in athletes.

SLAP tears are common shoulder injuries, especially in overhead athletes.
This study provides clinicians with useful guidance as to which patients may succeed or may not respond to nonoperative management of SLAP tears.


A systematic search strategy was developed in accordance with the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

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