COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Repair integrity and functional outcome after arthroscopic conversion to a full-thickness rotator cuff tear: articular- versus bursal-side partial tears

Kyung Cheon Kim, Hyun Dae Shin, Soo Min Cha, Jun Yeong Park
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2014, 42 (2): 451-6
24318610

BACKGROUND: A few studies have compared high-grade partial-thickness articular- and bursal-side rotator cuff tears postoperatively.

PURPOSE: To compare the clinical and radiological outcomes of high-grade partial-thickness rotator cuff tears treated with arthroscopic conversion to full-thickness tears, followed by repair.

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

METHODS: Forty-three consecutive shoulders with high-grade partial-thickness rotator cuff tears (20 articular- and 23 bursal-side lesions) treated with arthroscopic conversion to full-thickness tears, followed by repair using the suture-bridge technique, were evaluated. The final functional evaluation was conducted at a mean of 35.53 months (range, 24-54 months). Radiological outcomes were evaluated at a minimum of 1 year postoperatively. The following outcome measures were used in this study: the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Shoulder Rating Scale, the Constant score, and range of motion.

RESULTS: At the final follow-up, the mean ASES, UCLA, and Constant scores improved significantly to 91.80, 32.70, and 75.85, respectively, in the articular-side group (all P < .001). The mean ASES, UCLA, and Constant scores improved significantly to 90.80, 32.52, and 83.00, respectively, in the bursal-side group (all P < .001). The UCLA and ASES scores did not differ significantly between the 2 groups (P = .821 and .869, respectively), while the Constant scores did (P = .048). The retear rate was 0% in the articular-side group and 9.5% in the bursal-side group; this difference was not significant (P = .204).

CONCLUSION: The arthroscopic repair of partial-thickness bursal-side tears resulted in comparable or superior postoperative functional outcomes compared with that of articular-side tears. However, the postoperative retear rate did not differ significantly between the 2 groups.

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