Arthroscopic single-row modified mason-allen repair versus double-row suture bridge reconstruction for supraspinatus tendon tears: a matched-pair analysis

Christian Gerhardt, Konstantin Hug, Stephan Pauly, Tim Marnitz, Markus Scheibel
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2012, 40 (12): 2777-85

BACKGROUND: Arthroscopic double-row fixation of supraspinatus tendon tears compared with single-row techniques is still a matter of debate.

HYPOTHESIS: Arthroscopic double-row rotator cuff repair using the suture bridge technique provides better clinical results and lower retear rates than does single-row repair using a modified Mason-Allen stitch technique.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study; Level of evidence 3.

METHODS: Forty patients underwent either an arthroscopic single-row modified Mason-Allen stitch (SR) (n = 20; mean age ± SD, 61.5 ± 7.4 y) or a modified suture bridge double-row repair (DR) (n = 20; age, 61.2 ± 7.5 y). The anteroposterior extension was classified as Bateman I in 10% and Bateman II in 90% of patients in the SR group and as Bateman II in 80% and Bateman III in 20% of patients in the DR group. Patients were matched for sex and age. The subjective shoulder value (SSV), Constant-Murley score (CS), and Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index (WORC) were used for clinical follow-up. Furthermore, MRI scans were conducted for analysis of tendon integrity, muscle atrophy, and fatty infiltration via semiquantitative signal intensity analysis. In addition, re-defect patterns were evaluated.

RESULTS: The mean follow-up time in the SR group was 16.8 ± 4.6 months. The mean SSV was 91.0% ± 8.8%, mean CS was 82.2 ± 8.1 (contralateral side, 88.8 ± 5.3), and mean WORC score was 96.5% ± 3.2%. The mean follow-up time in the DR group was 23.4 ± 2.9 months, with patients achieving scores of 92.9% ± 9.6% for the SSV, 77.0 ± 8.6 for the CS (contralateral side, 76.7 ± 17.1), and 90.7% ± 12.6% for the WORC (P > .05). No significant differences were detected in the clinical outcome between groups. Tendon integrity was as follows. Type 1, none in either group; type 2, 4 SR and 5 DR; type 3, 9 SR and 10 DR; type 4, 3 SR and 3 DR; and type 5, 3 SR and 2 DR. The failure rate was 31.6% (n = 6) in the SR group and 25% (n = 5) in the DR group (P > .05). No significant differences were obtained for muscular atrophy or fatty degeneration (SR group, 0.94 ± 0.16; DR group, 1.15 ± 0.5) (P > .05). Re-defects revealed lateral cuff failure in 83.3% of SR patients in contrast to patients treated with DR techniques. The re-defect pattern was medial cuff failure in 80% of the patients.

CONCLUSION: The clinical results after modified Mason-Allen single-row versus double-mattress suture bridge technique did not demonstrate significant differences in a matched patient cohort. Concerning the failure mode, single- and double-row techniques seem to demonstrate different re-defect patterns.

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