Arthroscopic repair of medium to large full-thickness rotator cuff tears: a prospective study of 30 patients (SS-49)

      This study prospectively evaluated the clinical outcome of 30 patients that underwent arthroscopic repair of large full-thickness rotator cuff tears. Methods: Thirty patients underwent arthroscopic repair of a full-thickness rotator cuff tear. Mean tear size was 2.4 cm (range: 2 to 5 cm) in the sagittal plane. Patients’ mean age was 52 years (range: 34 to 71 years) and mean follow-up was 20 months (range: 16 to 30 months). Preoperative and postoperative range of motion, strength, pain, and satisfaction were evaluated. Function was assessed with a modified ASES Score. All 30 tears involved the supraspinatus tendon and 8 also involved the infraspinatus. Mean tendon retraction was 8 mm (range: 0 to 25 mm). Statistical analysis was carried out using Student t test and signed rank test. Results: Significant improvements were demonstrated for forward elevation (preoperative: 157° to postoperative:168°, P < .05), forward elevation strength (3.7 to 4.8 out of 5, P < .05), ASES scores (44.9 to 93.5 points, P < .01), pain relief (8.7 to 1.6 points, P < .001), and satisfaction (2.8 to 9.1 points, P < .001). One patient developed postoperative adhesive capsulitis that resolved after several months of physical therapy. There was no incidence of recurrent rupture of the rotator cuff. Twenty-eight of 30 (93%) patients were satisfied with their outcome. There was no correlation between tear size or amount of retraction and clinical outcome. Conclusions: This study documented significant improvements in range of motion, strength, pain relief, function, and satisfaction after arthroscopic repair of medium to large full-thickness rotator cuff tears.