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A biomechanical comparison of transosseous-suture anchor and suture bridge rotator cuff repairs in cadavers

Leslie J Bisson, Leslie M Manohar
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2009, 37 (10): 1991-5
19556468

BACKGROUND: Several biomechanical studies comparing open and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair methods have shown inferior performance of arthroscopic repairs. Suture anchor-augmented transosseous repairs and suture bridge repairs have shown superior biomechanical performance when compared with other methods, but these 2 repair methods have not been directly compared.

HYPOTHESIS: There will be no difference in the biomechanical performance of the transosseous-suture anchor and suture bridge techniques.

STUDY DESIGN: Controlled laboratory study.

METHODS: Eight paired cadaveric shoulder specimens (16 specimens) had creation followed by repair of a complete tear of the supraspinatus, with the first member of each pair undergoing repair by a transosseous-suture anchor technique and the second member undergoing repair by the suture bridge technique. Specimens were then cycled from 10 to 180 N for 200 cycles, followed by testing to failure at 33 mm/s. Elongation was measured during cyclic testing, and failure load and stiffness were obtained during load-to-failure testing. Failure method was recorded.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference between transosseous-suture anchor repairs and suture bridge repairs for elongation (4.0 +/- 1.60 mm vs 3.5 +/- 1.1 mm, P = .31), failure load (408 +/- 93 N vs 419 +/- 62 N, P = .70), or stiffness (58 +/- 10 N/mm vs 58 +/- 14 N/mm, P = .94). The most common mode of failure with each method was suture cutting through tendon.

CONCLUSION: The suture bridge repair exhibited similar biomechanical performance during cyclic and load-to-failure testing as a transosseous-suture anchor repair, which historically has been performed in open or mini-open fashion.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs can be performed that are as strong as open or mini-open repairs.

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