Sustained Improvement Following Arthroscopic Repair Massive Rotator Cuff Tears


      To determine the longer term outcomes of arthroscopic repair of massive rotator cuff tears.


      A retrospective review of patients who underwent arthroscopic repairs of massive rotator cuff tears by a single surgeon was conducted. Criteria for inclusion were age greater than 18, history of arthroscopic repair of a massive rotator cuff tear (>5cm or >two tendons), no prior history of tear, and at least three years of follow-up visits following surgery. Once a list of patients meeting these criteria was collated, patients were contacted and informed consent was obtained. The main study variables consisted of the Penn Shoulder Score and ASES Shoulder Score; as such, these standard surveys were administered by research personnel following consent. . An average score for each survey was calculated and surgical notes were reviewed to determine strength on external rotation prior to surgery and whether full or partial coverage was achieved arthroscopically.


      50 patients were deemed eligible for the study. 8 were excluded due to lack of clinical follow up and an additional 6 became deceased. Of 36 patients 5 patients declined participation and 6 were unable to be contacted leaving a response rate of 69%. The average participant age was 64.6, with 40% female and 60% male. 76% of participants were white, 20% African American, and 4% Asian. The average ASES survey score was 77.73, and the average Penn Shoulder Score was 78.08. Partial Repair (n=12) Full Repair (n=13) All Patients (n=25) Average ASES Score 68.19 86.92 77.73. Average Penn Shoulder Score 69.58 85.92 78.08.


      Arthroscopic repair of massive rotator cuff tears yields sustained improvement. Complete coverage yielded slightly superior outcomes but partial repairs were still deemed satisfactory.