Repair integrity and functional outcomes after arthroscopic suture-bridge rotator cuff repair

Kyung Cheon Kim, Hyun Dae Shin, Woo Yong Lee
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 2012 April 18, 94 (8): e48

BACKGROUND: We evaluated the clinical and imaging outcomes of arthroscopic suture-bridge repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears.

METHODS: From May 2007 to April 2008, seventy-nine patients with a full-thickness rotator cuff tear consecutively underwent arthroscopic suture-bridge repair. The mean age of the patients was 58.3 years (range, thirty-eight to seventy-eight years), and the mean duration of follow-up was 30.6 months (range, twenty-four to forty-four months). Seventy-three patients underwent postoperative ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging; seventy-one underwent the imaging at a minimum of two years postoperatively, and the remaining two did so after the operation because of persistent symptoms. The clinical results of seventy-seven patients (all except two who had undergone revision) were evaluated at a minimum of two years postoperatively. University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), and Constant-Murley scores were used for clinical and functional evaluations before surgery and at the time of final follow-up.

RESULTS: The imaging follow-up rate was 92%, and the follow-up rate for clinical evaluation was 100%. The re-tear rate after suture-bridge repair was 15%. The re-tear rate of the medium, large, and massive tears (as classified according to the anterior-to-posterior diameter of the tear) was 12%, 21%, and 22%, respectively. Massive and large tears tended to show a higher re-tear rate than did medium tears, but the difference was not significant (p = 0.417 and p = 0.964, respectively). The mean UCLA, ASES, and Constant-Murley scores improved from 21.6, 50.4, and 52.7 preoperatively to 30.9, 86.2, and 74.7 at the time of final follow-up (p < 0.001). However, the clinical outcomes after the operation did not differ significantly between the patients who had healing of the tear and those who did not (p = 0.438, p = 0.625, and p = 0.898 for the UCLA, ASES, and Constant-Murley scores, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Arthroscopic suture-bridge repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears was followed by a re-tear rate of 15% as seen with imaging and resulted in significant improvement of functional outcomes and clinical results compared with the preoperative findings.

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