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Superior Capsular Reconstruction: A Systematic Review of Surgical Techniques and Clinical Outcomes

Published:November 19, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2020.09.016

      Purpose

      To evaluate surgical techniques and clinical outcomes of arthroscopic superior capsular reconstruction (SCR) for the treatment of massive irreparable rotator cuff tears.

      Methods

      A systematic review was registered with PROSPERO and performed using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) guidelines. The PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane databases were searched. Studies investigating SCR with reported surgical techniques were included. Animal studies, cadaveric studies, review studies, and letters to the editor were excluded. The technical aspects of the surgical techniques for SCR were analyzed in each article, which included graft type, glenoid fixation method, greater tuberosity fixation method, graft passage technique, suture management, margin convergence, concomitant procedures, and postoperative rehabilitation protocol. Clinical outcomes, when available, were also analyzed.

      Results

      We screened 365 articles, of which 29 described surgical techniques for SCR. According to the Modified Coleman Methodology Score, 24 articles were rated as poor (score < 55), 4 were rated as fair (score between 55 and 69), and 1 was rated as good (score between 70 and 84), with an average score of 25.8 ± 20.9. The most commonly performed technique for SCR used the following: an acellular dermal allograft, 2 biocomposite suture anchors for glenoid fixation, transosseous-equivalent double-row suture anchor fixation for greater tuberosity fixation with 2 biocomposite medial-row anchors and 2 biocomposite lateral-row anchors, the double-pulley technique combined with an arthroscopic grasper and/or pull suture to pass the graft into the shoulder, the performance of both anterior and posterior margin convergence, and a native rotator cuff repair when possible. Only 8 studies reported clinical outcomes, and they showed that SCR provides significant improvement in patient-reported outcomes, significant improvement in shoulder range of motion, variable graft failure rates, low complication rates, and variable reoperation rates. There were no studies comparing outcomes among the various surgical techniques.

      Conclusions

      Many surgical techniques exist for arthroscopic SCR. However, no superior technique was shown because there were no studies comparing clinical outcomes among these various techniques.

      Level of Evidence

      Level V, systematic review of Level III, IV, and V studies.
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