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Triple-Row Technique Confers a Lower Retear Rate Than Standard Suture Bridge Technique in Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repairs

      Purpose

      To compare the structural and clinical results between the knotless suture bridge (SB) and triple-row (TR) techniques.

      Methods

      This study is a retrospective study and included 212 shoulders with repairable rotator cuff tears treated with the SB technique and 206 shoulders treated with the TR technique. In the TR technique, medial and lateral anchors were placed as they would be for the SB technique, with a middle row anchor added on the edge of footprint to reduce the torn tendons. All patients underwent primary arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and had magnetic resonance imaging 6 months postoperatively to evaluate for retear. Sugaya’s classification was used to classify the retear pattern. The function of all patients preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively were assessed by the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons shoulder index and the University of California at Los Angeles rating scale.

      Results

      According to Sugaya’s classification, 24 (11.3%), 6 (2.8%), and 20 (9.4%) in SB-treated shoulders and 16 (7.8%), 12 (5.8%), and 8 (3.9%) in TR-treated shoulders, respectively had types 3, 4, and 5. There was a statistically significant greater type 5 retear in SB-treated shoulders (P = .038) than in TR-treated shoulders. The average clinical outcome scores at the final follow-up improved significantly relative to those before the surgeries in both groups. There were no statistical differences in the clinical outcome scores at the final follow-up between SB and TR groups.

      Conclusions

      The use of the TR technique in arthroscopic rotator cuff repair resulted in a lower large-size retear rate when compared with the use of the SB technique. No clinical differences were noted in the outcomes between the 2 groups.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, therapeutic, retrospective cohort study.
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