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Abstract Presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the Arthroscopy Association of North America| Volume 23, ISSUE 6, SUPPLEMENT , e19-e20, June 2007

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In-Vivo Measurement of Rotator Cuff Perfusion Using Laser Doppler Flowmetry (SS-38)

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of tendon perfusion following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. A laser Doppler flometer was used to measure the tissue perfusion of the rotator cuff before and after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. There was a significant decrease in the perfusion of the bursal side of the supraspinatus tendon after both the medial and lateral sutures were tied compared with intact tendon.

      Methods

      A laser Doppler flometer (BLF21A Transonic Systems Inc. Ithaca, NY) was used to measure the tissue perfusion of the rotator cuff before and after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair using suture anchors with a double row configuration. Cuff perfusion was assessed in normal tissue as well as in torn cuffs both before and after the arthroscopic knots were tied.

      Results

      Average perfusion for intact tendon was 6.2 (ml/min/100gm). The average perfusion for torn supraspinatus tendons was 3.3 (ml/min/100gm) before repair and 1.9 after repair. There was a significant difference in perfusion between healthy tendon and torn supraspinatus both before and after repair. There was a decrease in localized perfusion between the sutures of the double row after both the medial and lateral rows were secured with arthroscopic knots (3.3 vs. 1.9 p=0.15) although this was not statistically significant.

      Conclusions

      There was a decrease in the perfusion of the bursal side of the supraspinatus tendon after both the medial and lateral sutures were tied compared with intact tendon. This acute decrease in perfusion may lead to decreased tissue integrity and early repair failure. Further investigation is needed to assess this change in perfusion with healing rates of the rotator cuff as well as repair configurations which afford the least insult to the vascularity of the rotator cuff.