Sualp Turan1, Alper Deveci2, Sezer Kulaçoğlu3, Olgun Bingöl1, Güzelali Özdemir1

1Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, University of Health Sciences Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
2Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Ankara Private Ortadogu Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
3Department of Pathology, University of Health Sciences Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Keywords: Arthroscopy, histopathological evaluation, inflammation, injury, rehabilitation, superior labrum anterior posterior lesions.


Objectives: This study aims to histologically examine the joint capsule and synovium to determine the correlation between histopathological findings and postoperative clinical outcomes in patients with isolated type II superior labrum anterior posterior (SLAP) lesions.

Patients and methods: Thirty-eight patients (24 males, 14 females; mean age 53.2±6.6 years; range, 45 to 67 years) who underwent arthroscopic treatment of type II SLAP lesions between June 2017 and September 2018 were evaluated prospectively. Visual analog scale (VAS), Simple Shoulder Test (SST), and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) scores of all patients were recorded preoperatively, and at 6th and 12th months postoperatively. Biceps tenotomy was applied as arthroscopic surgical treatment in all patients. Biopsy materials obtained from rotator interval joint capsule and synovium during the arthroscopy were evaluated histopathologically. The density of the vessels in the specimens was defined as low, medium, and high by the pathologist. The patients with medium or low vessel density in specimens were group 1 (n=14) and those with high vessel density group 2 (n=24).

Results: In group 2, preoperative VAS score was significantly higher. There was no difference between the scores of the groups except for the sixth month SST score which was significantly higher in group 1. Histopathological evaluation revealed that the number of lymphocytes, fibroblasts, mast cells, myofibroblast, synovial lining cells, macrophages, and amount of collagen in connective tissue were significantly higher in group 2. In five patients of group 2, the rehabilitation program was interrupted due to pain and difficulty in gaining a range of motion during the first four weeks postoperatively. Four of these patients recovered with medication and long-duration physiotherapy. Shoulder stiffness developed in one patient who required arthroscopic release and further rehabilitation.

Conclusion: There is a correlation between histopathological findings of joint capsule and synovium, and postoperative clinical outcomes and treatment in patients with isolated type II SLAP lesions. Almost 20% of patients who had pathologic histological findings in joint capsule and synovium needed pain control and long-duration rehabilitation program after arthroscopic surgery for better shoulder function recovery and prevention of shoulder stiffness.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.