Arthroscopic resection of glenoid labral tears in the athlete: a report of 29 cases.

Glasgow SG, Bruce RA, Yacobucci GN, Torg JS. Arthroscopy 1992;8(1):48-54.

This article is a retrospective review of 28 overhead-throwing and striking athletes who underwent 29 arthroscopic partial glenoid labral resections. Indications for the procedure were a sudden inability to perform because of pain and the presence of a palpable “click” on clinical examination. At a minimum of 2 years follow-up, there was a statistically significant difference in the functional outcome between patients with stable and those with unstable glenohumral joints. In those with stable joints, there was a 91% good or excellent functional outcome. In those with unstable joints, there was a 25% good functional outcome and a 75% fair or poor functional outcome. We also noted a statistically significant difference in labral tear location between the stable and unstable glenohumeral joints. Seven of eight superior labral tears were in stable shoulders. Fourteen of 19 anterior labral tears were in stable shoulders. Both posterior labral tears were in unstable glenohumeral joints. Injury of the glenoid labrum without anatomic instability was observed in 72% of patients. Arthroscopic resection of a longitudinal labral tear in a stable shoulder can relieve the patient’s discomfort and allow him or her to return to athletic competition. No patient developed clinical subluxation as a result of labral debridement, nor did any patient convert from a subluxing shoulder to a dislocating shoulder following surgery. In patients with anterior instability and labral tears, labral debridement was not a successful alternative to formal stabilization.