Demographic trends in arthroscopic SLAP repair in the United States

Alan L. Zhang, Christopher Kreulen, Stephanie S. Ngo, Sharon L. Hame, Jeffrey C. Wang, Seth C. Gamradt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment of superior labral anterior posterior (SLAP) tears remains controversial, particularly in older age groups. Repair, debridement, biceps tenodesis, tenotomy, and observation have been recommended depending on patient characteristics, but there have not been any large epidemiologic studies investigating treatment trends.Purpose: To investigate current trends in SLAP repair across time, gender, age, and regions in the United States.Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study.Methods: Patients who underwent arthroscopic SLAP repair (Current Procedural Terminology [CPT] code 29807) were identified using a publicly available national database of insurance records (PearlDiver Patient Records Database) during years 2004 through 2009. Factors identified for each patient included gender, age group, and region in the United States. Logistic regression analysis and the chi-square test were used for statistical measures.Results: From 2004 to 2009 there were 25,574 cases of arthroscopic SLAP repair identified, of which 75% were male patients and 25% were female patients. There was a significant rise in cases of SLAP repair from 2004 to 2009 as the incidence of SLAP repair increased from 17.0 for every 10,000 patients with an orthopaedic International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) or CPT code in 2004 to 28.1 in 2009 (P <.0001). Age analysis revealed the highest incidence in the 20-29-year (29.1 per 10,000) and 40-49-year (27.8 per 10,000) age groups. Men (37.3 per 10,000) had a significantly higher incidence of repairs than did women (10.7 per 10,000). The West (24.6 per 10,000) and South (24.4 per 10,000) regions also demonstrated a higher incidence than the Midwest (20.5 per 10,000) and Northeast (20.1 per 10,000) regions (P <.0001).Conclusion: Our analysis illustrates that surgeons are performing significantly more arthroscopic SLAP repairs each year. The highest incidence of repair is in the 20-29- and 40-49-year age groups, and a significant gender difference exists, with men having a threefold higher incidence of repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1144-1147
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012


  • demographics
  • epidemiology
  • SLAP repair
  • trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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