Introduction: Superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) lesions due to overuse by repeated pitching motion and trauma are often noted and usually. However, shoulder disorders with a chronic course are often accompanied by SLAP lesions. SLAP lesions are frequently observed during arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder joint for rotator cuff tear in middle-aged and elderly individuals, suggesting the involvement of factors other than pitching motion and traumatic events in the pathogenesis. We considered that blood flow in the labrum is altered. The purpose of this study was to clarify the superficial blood flow in the superior labrum during arthroscopic surgery of the rotator cuff tear and investigate whether it is altered with labrum injury. Materials and methods: We evaluated 33 subjects with a mean age of 55.1 years who underwent arthroscopic surgery for partial or complete rotator cuff tears. The blood flow measurement site for the superior labrum was set at the supraglenoid tubercle attachment site, and blood flow was measured twice using laser Doppler flowmeter. The mean was calculated and compared among the normal labrum and type 1 SLAP lesions. Results: The morphology of the labrum was normal in 16 subjects, and 17 subjects had type 1 SLAP lesions. The mean blood flow was 1.75 ml/min/100 g in subjects with a normal labrum; however, in subjects with type 1 SLAP lesions, blood flow was 1.32 ml/min/100 g, showing significant differences (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Superficial blood flow in the superior labrum of the shoulder with rotator cuff tear was measured using laser Doppler flowmetry. The blood flow in type 1 SLAP lesions was lower than that in the normal labrum.
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