Biomechanical Evaluation of Provocative Tests for Superior Glenoid Labrum Lesions

Seth M. Kuhlman, Boise State University


During the recent era of arthroscopic surgery, many distinct shoulder pathologies such as the superior labrum anterior to posterior (SLAP) lesions have been identified. The unfortunate fact of arthroscopy is that it is invasive and extremely costly. There are clinical examinations that aid in the diagnosis of SLAP lesions, but they are not considered stand-alone diagnoses like arthroscopy. Therefore, it is beneficial to improve the overall accuracy of the current clinical tests used to diagnose SLAP lesions. Of the existing tests, 10 are meant to actively engage the long head of the biceps brachii (LHBB) to create tension in the biceps tendon. The tension in the LHBB elicits pain and/or apprehension in the superior glenoid region, a positive sign of superior labral pathology.