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Arthroscopic Single and Double Row Repair of Isolated and Combined Subscapularis Tears Result in Similar Improvements in Outcomes: A Systematic Review

      Purpose

      To systematically review the literature to (1) describe arthroscopic subscapularis repair constructs and outcomes in patients with isolated and combined subscapularis tears and (2) compare outcomes after single- and double-row subscapularis repair in both of these settings.

      Methods

      A systematic review was performed using PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, SCOPUS, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for Level I-IV evidence studies that investigated outcomes after arthroscopic subscapularis repair for the treatment of isolated subscapularis tears or subscapularis tears combined with posterosuperior rotator cuff tears in adult human patients. Data recorded included study demographics, repair construct, shoulder-specific outcome measures, and subscapularis retears. Study methodological quality was analyzed using the MINORS score. Heterogeneity and low levels of evidence precluded meta-analysis.

      Results

      The initial search yielded 811 articles (318 duplicates, 493 screened, 67 full-text review). Forty-three articles (2406 shoulders, 57% males, mean age range 42 to 67.5 years, mean MINORS score 13.4 ± 4.1) were included and analyzed. Articles reported on patients with isolated subscapularis tears (n = 15), combined tears (n = 17), or both (n = 11). The majority of subscapularis repairs used single-row constructs (89.4% of isolated tears, 88.9% of combined tears). All except for one study reporting on outcome measures found clinically significant improvements after subscapularis repair, and no clinically significant differences were detected in 5 studies comparing isolated to combined tears. Subscapularis retear rates ranged from 0% to 17% for isolated tears and 0% to 32% for combined subscapularis and posterosuperior rotator cuff tears. Outcomes and retear rates were similar in studies comparing single-row to double-row repair for isolated and combined subscapularis tears (P > .05 for all).

      Conclusion

      Arthroscopic subscapularis repair resulted in significant improvements across all outcome measures, regardless of whether tears were isolated or combined or if repairs were single or double row.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, systematic review of Level II-IV studies.
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