SLAP Repair Versus Biceps Tenodesis in Patients Younger Than 40 Years: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Alexis B. Sandler*, Benjamin R. Childs, John P. Scanaliato, John C. Dunn, Nata Parnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The surgical management of type II superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) tears in patients younger than 40 years is controversial, but growing evidence suggests comparable outcomes between primary SLAP repair and primary biceps tenodesis, with lower rates of reoperations after primary biceps tenodesis. Given the relatively similar patient-reported outcomes, cost-effectiveness analyses of direct and indirect costs associated with the two procedures propound a valuable comparative technique. Hypothesis: In this value-based comparison of SLAP repair versus biceps tenodesis, we hypothesized that biceps tenodesis would be more cost-effective than SLAP repair in patients younger than 40 years. Study Design: Economic and decision analysis; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A 1-month Markov cycle was simulated to reflect 10 years of health outcomes. Health states were selected based on outcomes that are especially important in assessing indirect costs for a younger, active patient population: return-to-sport rates, which demonstrate a return to baseline function, and reoperation rates. Transition state probabilities were obtained through an index systematic review and meta-analysis comparing labral repair and biceps tenodesis for the treatment of type II SLAP lesions in patients younger than 40 years. Health state utility and cost values were obtained from accepted values denoted in existing literature. Results: Both primary SLAP repair and primary biceps tenodesis yielded an average expected 8.1 quality-adjusted life years over the 10-year period. The average cost (in 2021 US$) was $16,619 for biceps tenodesis and $19,388 for SLAP repair. Conclusion: In a younger patient population, SLAP repair and biceps tenodesis had comparable quality-adjusted life years and utility in the treatment of type II SLAP tears; however, SLAP repair cost $19,388, while biceps tenodesis cost $16,619, reflecting a 14% cost savings with biceps tenodesis. These findings can be extrapolated to further establish the role for these procedures in treating SLAP tears.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • baseball/softball
  • biceps tendon
  • economic and decision analysis
  • glenoid labrum
  • military training
  • shoulder


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