Physical Examination Maneuvers for SLAP Lesions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Individual and Combinations of Maneuvers.

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The American journal of sports medicine


BACKGROUND: Superior labrum anterior to posterior (SLAP) lesions are targeted on physical examination using a variety of provocative maneuvers.

PURPOSE/HYPOTHESIS: The purpose was to conduct a systematic review on the performance of physical examination maneuvers in diagnosing SLAP lesions and to perform a meta-analysis comparing the sensitivity and specificity of these examinations both individually and in combination. The null hypothesis stated that there would be no significant difference in the sensitivity or specificity of the included physical examination tests, neither individually nor in combination.

STUDY DESIGN: Meta-analysis and systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: A systematic review was performed with the inclusion criteria of studies that reported either the sensitivities and specificities or the number of true-positive, true-negative, false-positive, or false-negative results for at least 1 maneuver for identifying SLAP lesions. A meta-analysis was performed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of individual maneuvers. Additional analysis determined the performance of these maneuvers when combined in series and parallel. In series, all must be present to be considered positive. In parallel, any single positive test forces the overall combination to be considered positive. Only tests that were included in ≥3 studies were considered in the meta-analysis and those included in ≥4 studies were considered in the combination analysis.

RESULTS: Overall, 862 studies were identified, 18 of which were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. The physical examinations included were the O'Brien (n = 16), speed (n = 8), Yergason (n = 6), anterior slide (n = 8), crank (n = 7), Jobe (n = 5), dynamic labral shear (n = 3), Kim 2 (n = 3), and biceps groove tenderness tests (n = 3). All combinations of 2 to 5 maneuvers in both series and parallel were considered. The O'Brien and crank test combination was the most sensitive 2-test combination in both parallel and series. The Yergason and anterior slide test combination was the most specific 2-test combination in parallel and series.

CONCLUSION: This systematic review and meta-analysis reports an updated meta-analysis considering the sensitivity and specificity of common physical examination maneuvers used in the diagnosis of SLAP lesions and considers these values for tests in both series and parallel combinations. The present analysis demonstrates improved specificities when tests are considered in series and improved sensitivities when considered in parallel combination.


Online ahead of print.

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