Original Article| Volume 30, ISSUE 3, P284-288, March 2014

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Current Trends in Rotator Cuff Repair: Surgical Technique, Setting, and Cost

Published:January 27, 2014DOI:


      The purpose of this study was to evaluate national trends in the surgical setting and hospital costs of shoulder arthroscopy and rotator cuff repair (RCR) using the Florida State surgical database and national inpatient database.


      In part I we analyzed population-adjusted shifts in RCR technique (arthroscopic v open) in the Florida surgical database from 2000-2007 and quantified the procedural codes associated with arthroscopic and open RCR. In part II we analyzed the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from 2001-2009 for the total number of inpatient RCRs, the inpatient hospital type (rural, urban non-teaching, or urban teaching), and the cost.


      Part I showed a 163% increase in outpatient procedures in Florida, with a 353% increase in arthroscopic RCRs. There was a concurrent decrease in open RCRs; however, the overall trend was a 2-fold increase in total RCRs. Associated procedures such as subacromial decompression, distal clavicle resection, and extensive glenohumeral debridement increased by 440%, 589%, and 1,253%, respectively. Part II showed an overall 58.8% decrease in inpatient RCRs that was similar across all hospital settings, with an increase in RCR-associated hospital charges by 144.9%, whereas hospital costs only increased by 85.2%.


      The study confirms a shift toward arthroscopic RCR and associated procedures in the outpatient setting. The increased financial cost partly explains the shift; nevertheless, future studies are needed to further examine national trends.

      Clinical Relevance

      This study examining RCR trends by hospital type, cost, and setting further elucidates how orthopaedic surgery practice is evolving with the implementation of arthroscopic RCR in the past decade.
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