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Clinical Outcomes and Tendon Integrity in Patients With Chronic Retracted Subscapularis Tear After Arthroscopic Single-Row Oblique Mattress Suture Repair Technique

      Purpose

      To evaluate clinical outcomes and tendon integrity in patients with chronic retracted subscapularis tears using an arthroscopic single-row oblique mattress suture repair technique.

      Methods

      Patients with full-thickness subscapularis tears retracted to the glenoid level and with at least 2 years of follow-up were included. Tendon retraction level was measured on preoperative axial magnetic resonance images and confirmed during arthroscopic surgery. The subscapularis tendon was repaired arthroscopically using the single-row oblique mattress suture technique on the medial margin of the lesser tuberosity. Two double-loaded suture anchors were used to obtain firm fixation between the tendon and the footprint. Clinical outcomes were assessed for all patients preoperatively and postoperatively using active range of motion, a visual analog scale score for pain, and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and Constant scores. To evaluate structural integrity of the repaired tendon, all patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging at 6 months and ultrasonography at 1 year after surgery.

      Results

      The shoulder function of the 33 patients analyzed was improved significantly after a mean follow-up period of 26.3 ± 3.5 months compared with preoperative values (American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score of 52.0 ± 7.9 preoperatively vs 79.6 ± 7.0 at last follow-up, P < .001, and Constant score of 43.0 ± 13.4 preoperatively vs 76.7 ± 9.2 at last follow-up, P < .001). Postoperative active range of motion improved significantly in forward flexion, external rotation, and internal rotation (P < .001). The mean visual analog scale pain score decreased by 3.42 (5.2 ± 1.6 preoperatively vs 1.9 ± 1.4 at last follow-up, P < .001). In 4 patients (12.1%), subscapularis retears were confirmed on postoperative magnetic resonance imaging.

      Conclusions

      Despite significant retraction, arthroscopic repair using a single-row oblique mattress suture technique in patients who had chronic subscapularis tears with retraction to the glenoid level yielded satisfactory clinical outcomes and reliable tendon healing.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, therapeutic case series.
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