Functional and structural outcomes of single-row versus double-row versus combined double-row and suture-bridge repair for rotator cuff tears

Teruhisa Mihata, Chisato Watanabe, Kunimoto Fukunishi, Mutsumi Ohue, Tomoyuki Tsujimura, Kenta Fujiwara, Mitsuo Kinoshita
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2011, 39 (10): 2091-8

BACKGROUND: Although previous biomechanical research has demonstrated the superiority of the suture-bridge rotator cuff repair over double-row repair from a mechanical point of view, no articles have described the structural and functional outcomes of this type of procedure.

HYPOTHESIS: The structural and functional outcomes after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair may be different between the single-row, double-row, and combined double-row and suture-bridge (compression double-row) techniques.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

METHODS: There were 206 shoulders in 201 patients with full-thickness rotator cuff tears that underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. Eleven patients were lost to follow-up. Sixty-five shoulders were repaired using the single-row, 23 shoulders using the double-row, and 107 shoulders using the compression double-row techniques. Clinical outcomes were evaluated at an average of 38.5 months (range, 24-74 months) after rotator cuff repair. Postoperative cuff integrity was determined using Sugaya's classification of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

RESULTS: The retear rates after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair were 10.8%, 26.1%, and 4.7%, respectively, for the single-row, double-row, and compression double-row techniques. In the subcategory of large and massive rotator cuff tears, the retear rate in the compression double-row group (3 of 40 shoulders, 7.5%) was significantly less than those in the single-row group (5 of 8 shoulders, 62.5%, P < .001) and the double-row group (5 of 12 shoulders, 41.7%, P < .01). Postoperative clinical outcomes in patients with a retear were significantly lower than those in patients without a retear for all 3 techniques.

CONCLUSION: The additional suture bridges decreased the retear rate for large and massive tears. The combination of the double-row and suture-bridge techniques, which had the lowest rate of postoperative retear, is an effective option for arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff tendons because the postoperative functional outcome in patients with a retear is inferior to that without retear.

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