Equivalent clinical results of arthroscopic single-row and double-row suture anchor repair for rotator cuff tears: a randomized controlled trial

Francesco Franceschi, Laura Ruzzini, Umile Giuseppe Longo, Francesca Maria Martina, Bruno Beomonte Zobel, Nicola Maffulli, Vincenzo Denaro
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2007, 35 (8): 1254-60

BACKGROUND: Restoring the anatomical footprint may improve the healing and mechanical strength of repaired tendons. A double row of suture anchors increases the tendon-bone contact area, reconstituting a more anatomical configuration of the rotator cuff footprint.

HYPOTHESIS: There is no difference in clinical and imaging outcome between single-row and double-row suture anchor technique repairs of rotator cuff tears.

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.

METHODS: The authors recruited 60 patients. In 30 patients, rotator cuff repair was performed with a single-row suture anchor technique (group 1). In the other 30 patients, rotator cuff repair was performed with a double-row suture anchor technique (group 2).

RESULTS: Eight patients (4 in the single-row anchor repair group and 4 in the double-row anchor repair group) did not return at the final follow-up. At the 2-year follow-up, no statistically significant differences were seen with respect to the University of California, Los Angeles score and range of motion values. At 2-year follow-up, postoperative magnetic resonance arthrography in group 1 showed intact tendons in 14 patients, partial-thickness defects in 10 patients, and full-thickness defects in 2 patients. In group 2, magnetic resonance arthrography showed an intact rotator cuff in 18 patients, partial-thickness defects in 7 patients, and full-thickness defects in 1 patient.

CONCLUSION: Single- and double-row techniques provide comparable clinical outcome at 2 years. A double-row technique produces a mechanically superior construct compared with the single-row method in restoring the anatomical footprint of the rotator cuff, but these mechanical advantages do not translate into superior clinical performance.

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