Original Article| Volume 38, ISSUE 8, P2399-2412, August 2022

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Retear After Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Results in Functional Outcome Deterioration Over Time

Published:February 24, 2022DOI:


      This study aimed to evaluate the effect of retear on long-term functional outcomes and glenohumeral joint osteoarthritis (OA) progression after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ASRCR).


      We retrospectively reviewed 201 patients who underwent ASRCR and were followed up for at least 5 years. Rotator cuff tendon structural integrity was evaluated using magnetic resonance imaging and/or ultrasonography. Pain, active range of motion, and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (ASES) were evaluated for functional outcomes. To evaluate deterioration over time, the minimal clinically important difference value of pain and ASES were used.


      The mean follow-up period was 8.6 ± 2.2 years and overall retear rate was 21.4%. OA progression was strongly associated with retear (odds ratio 5.1, P < .001). Functional outcomes at the 2-year postoperative follow-up significantly improved compared to the preoperative status (all P < .017), regardless of retear. However, the retear group presented worse functional outcomes at the final follow-up (pain: 3.1 ± 2.6; ASES: 72.0 ± 17.4) than at the 2-year postoperative follow-up (pain: 1.2 ± 2.3, P = .014; ASES: 91.1 ± 9.9, P= .015) than the healed tendon group at final follow-up (pain: .6 ± 1.7; P < .001; ASES 95.5 ± 11.8; P < .001). The time for deterioration of pain (healed group vs. retear group: 5.5 ± 0.5 vs. 10.6 ± 0.4 years; P < .001) and ASES (healed group vs. retear group: 7.5 ± 0.5 vs. 12.8 ± 0.2 years; P < .001) decreased in the retear group.


      The functional status improved after ASRCR in short- and long-term follow-up, regardless of retear. However, retear was strongly associated with OA progression, and long-term functional outcomes deteriorated over time in retear cases, which was not observed during short-term follow-up.

      Study Design

      III, retrospective cohort study.
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