Research Article|Articles in Press

Arthroscopic Superior Capsule Reconstruction with Combined Fascia Lata Autograft and Synthetic Scaffold Patch Graft for the Treatment of Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tears Yields Favorable Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes at Minimum Two-Year Follow-Up


      To report the results of the arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (ASCR) technique with a combined fascia lata autograft and synthetic scaffold patch graft for irreparable massive rotator cuff tears (RCTs).


      The period for this retrospective study was between December 2016 and December 2020. The criteria for inclusion were patients treated arthroscopically for an incompletely reparable massive RCT (dimension > 5 cm and two tendons fully torn, intact or reparable subscapularis tendons and teres minor tendon with or without irreparable infraspinatus, a radiological Hamada classification between grade 0 and 4, and a minimum 24-month postoperative follow-up).. Clinical outcomes were evaluated pre-operatively and at a final follow-up by a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and range of motion along with the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (ASES), the University of California Los Angeles score (UCLA), and the Constant–Murley score (CMS). Radiological outcomes were assessed according to the rotator cuff arthropathy (RCA) and the acromiohumeral distance (AHD) stages. Graft integrity and muscle fatty infiltration were evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


      A total of 43 patients were enrolled in the study with a mean follow-up duration of 45.6 months (range 24 to 64). All clinical scores also improved at the two-year follow-up (mean VAS 0.7 [SD 0.7] vs. 5.4 [SD 1.1], P < 0.001; mean ASES 92.6 [SD 8.0] vs. 34.8 [SD 13.4], P < 0.001; mean UCLA 31.5 [SD 3.9] vs. 11.0 [SD 3.2], P < 0.001; and mean CMS 86.6 [SD 7.2] vs. 40.0 [SD 11.6], P < 0.001), and 39 of 43 fascia lata grafts were fully intact on MRI (91%).


      ASCR with a combined fascia lata autograft and synthetic scaffold patch graft resulted in good functional outcomes, with a high rate of graft healing at the two-year follow-up. All patients achieved clinically relevant improvement (met minimal clinically important differences (MCID)) on ASES, UCLA, and VAS with improved abduction strength restoration.
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