Factors associated with clinical and structural outcomes after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair with a suture bridge technique in medium, large, and massive tears

Sungwook Choi, Myung Ku Kim, Gyeong Min Kim, Young-Ho Roh, Im Kyung Hwang, Hyunseong Kang
Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 2014, 23 (11): 1675-81

BACKGROUND: This study was conducted to evaluate clinical outcomes, maintenance of repair integrity, and retear rate after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair by a suture bridge technique among patients with medium, large, and massive rotator cuff tears.

METHODS: We evaluated 147 patients who had undergone arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. Clinical and functional evaluations were performed with the Constant and University of California-Los Angeles scores. All patients were confirmed to have magnetic resonance imaging evidence of tendon healing at least 12 months postoperatively.

RESULTS: The average postoperative time to follow-up magnetic resonance imaging was 23.4 months (range, 12-48 months). A total of 25 (17.0%) retears were observed. All clinical outcome scores were improved significantly at follow-up. Larger intraoperative tear sizes were correlated with higher retear rates. The incidence of retear was also higher in cases in which the preoperative fatty degeneration grade was higher. The incidence of retear increased with age and in the heavy worker group (e.g., farmers, carriers, car mechanics) but was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair by a suture bridge technique yields improvements in clinical outcome measures and a relatively high degree of patient satisfaction despite the fact that repair integrity is not maintained in many cases.

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