Repair integrity and functional outcome after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: double-row versus suture-bridge technique

Kyung Cheon Kim, Hyun Dae Shin, Woo Yong Lee, Sun Cheol Han
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2012, 40 (2): 294-9

BACKGROUND: Only a few studies have examined repair integrity and functional outcome after arthroscopic suture-bridge rotator cuff repair procedure. In addition, no reported study has compared outcomes between the suture-bridge and double-row techniques.

PURPOSE: This study compared the functional outcome and repair integrity of arthroscopic double-row and conventional suture-bridge repair in full-thickness rotator cuff tears.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.

METHODS: Fifty-two consecutive full-thickness rotator cuff tears with 1 to 4 cm of anterior to posterior dimension that underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff repair were included. A double-row technique was used in the first 26 consecutive shoulders, and a conventional suture-bridge technique was used in the next 26 consecutive shoulders. Fifty shoulders (92.5%) underwent magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasonography postoperatively. Clinical outcomes were evaluated a minimum 2 years (mean, 37.2 months; range, 24-54) postoperatively using the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), and Constant scores. The postoperative cuff integrity was evaluated a mean of 33.0 (range, 10-54) months postoperatively.

RESULTS: At the final follow-up, the average UCLA, ASES, and Constant scores improved significantly, to 32.3, 90.5, and 80.7, respectively, in the double-row group and to 30.6, 88.5, and 74.0, respectively, in the suture-bridge group. The UCLA, ASES, and Constant scores improved in both groups postoperatively (all P < .001); however, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups at final follow-up (P = .185, .585, and .053, respectively). The retear rate was 24% in the shoulders that underwent double-row repair and 20% in the shoulders that underwent suture-bridge repair; this difference was not statistically significant (P = .733).

CONCLUSION: The arthroscopic conventional suture-bridge technique resulted in comparable patient satisfaction, functional outcome, and rates of retear compared with the arthroscopic double-row technique in full-thickness rotator cuff tears.

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