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Transosseous-Equivalent/Suture Bridge Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair in Combination With Late Postoperative Mobilization Yield Optimal Outcomes and Retear Rate: A Network Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study was to perform a network meta-analysis of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the literature in order to assess the evidence defining the optimal combination of surgical technique single-row repair (SRR), double-row repair (DRR), or transosseous-equivalent/suture bridge (TOE/SB) arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR) and postoperative rehabilitation (early or late) protocol for ARCR.

      Methods

      The literature search was performed based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Randomized SSR-early trials (RCTs) comparing SRR vs DRR vs TOE/SB ARCR techniques were included, as well as early vs late postoperative range of motion. Clinical outcomes were compared using a frequentist approach to network meta-analysis, with statistical analysis performed using R. The treatment options were ranked using the P-score.

      Results

      Twenty-eight studies comprising 2,181 total shoulders met the inclusion criteria. TOE/SB-late (odds ratio [OR], 0.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08-0.46) and DRR-late (OR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.12-0.52) were found to significantly reduce the rate of retear, with TOE/SB-late resulting in the highest P-score for the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (P-score: 0.7911) score and retear rate (P-score: 0.8725). DRR-early did not result in any significant improvements over the SRR-early group, except in internal rotation. There was no significant difference in forward flexion between groups, with almost equivalent P-scores. Furthermore, TOE/SB-early and TOE/SB-late trended toward worsening external rotation compared with the control.

      Conclusions

      The current study suggests that rotator cuff repair using the TOE/SB technique and late postoperative mobilization yields the highest functional outcomes and lowest retear rate in the arthroscopic management of symptomatic rotator cuff tears.

      Level of Evidence

      Level I, meta-analysis of Level I studies.
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