Intraosseous foreign body granuloma in rotator cuff repair with bioabsorbable suture anchor

T Nusselt, S Freche, H-M Klinger, M H Baums
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2010, 130 (8): 1037-40
Biodegradable implants lead to problems such as cyst formation, soft-tissue inflammation, loose implant fragments or local osteolysis. This report represents the first published case of an intraosseous foreign body granuloma in the humeral head after arthroscopic rotator cuff tear fixation with a poly-L: -lactide (PLLA) suture anchor. A 48-year-old female patient presented with pain in her right shoulder. A refixation of her right supraspinatus tendon with a biodegradable suture anchor was performed 11 months ago at an external hospital. Laboratory tests showed normal values for C-reactive protein, leukocytes and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. No signs of infection or instability were noted. The visual analogue scale (VAS) was 8, the simple shoulder test (SST) was 4 and the American shoulder and elbow surgeons score (ASES) was 44. Plain radiographs showed high lucency in the area of the tuberculum majus. MRI showed an intra- and extraosseous mass surrounded by fluid in this area. Surgical care involved arthroscopic debridement and removal of the suture anchor. Histological examination revealed a foreign body granuloma. At the 18-month follow-up the patient was nearly pain-free. The VAS was 2, SST was 10 and ASES was 88. Foreign body granulomas are a well known but rarely described complication that arises after the use of biodegradable suture anchors in shoulder surgery. Every patient presenting with shoulder pain after usage of a biodegradable fixation material should be evaluated closely. Orthopaedic surgeons should be aware of the possibility of delayed foreign body reactions, especially after using PLLA anchors.


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