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Is Double-Row Rotator Cuff Repair Clinically Superior to Single-Row Rotator Cuff Repair: A Systematic Review of Overlapping Meta-analyses

      Purpose

      Multiple meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials, the highest available level of evidence, have been conducted to determine whether double-row (DR) or single-row (SR) rotator cuff repair (RCR) provides superior clinical outcomes and structural healing; however, results are discordant. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of meta-analyses comparing SR and DR RCR to elucidate the cause of discordance and to determine which meta-analysis provides the current best available evidence.

      Methods

      In this study we evaluated available scientific support for SR versus DR RCR by systematically reviewing the literature for published meta-analyses. Data were extracted from these meta-analyses for patient outcomes and structural healing. Meta-analysis quality was assessed with the Oxman-Guyatt and Quality of Reporting of Meta-analyses (QUOROM) systems. The Jadad algorithm was then applied to determine which meta-analyses provided the highest level of evidence.

      Results

      Eight meta-analyses met the eligibility criteria: 4 including Level I evidence and 4 including both Level I and Level II evidence. Six meta-analyses found no differences between SR and DR RCR for patient outcomes, whereas 2 favored DR RCR for tears greater than 3 cm. Two meta-analyses found no structural healing differences between SR and DR RCR, whereas 3 found DR repair to be superior for tears greater than 3 cm and 2 found DR repair to be superior for all tears. Four meta-analyses had low Oxman-Guyatt scores (<3) indicative of major flaws. After application of the Jadad algorithm, 3 concordant high-quality meta-analyses were selected, all of which found significantly better structural healing with DR compared with SR RCR.

      Conclusions

      According to this systematic review of overlapping meta-analyses comparing SR and DR RCR, the current highest level of evidence suggests that DR RCR provides superior structural healing to SR RCR.

      Level of Evidence

      Level II, systematic review of Level I and II studies.
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