Sunday, May 12, 2013

Rotator cuff repair: integrity and functional outcomes (guess what?)

Repair integrity and functional outcomes for arthroscopic margin convergence of rotator cuff tears.

The authors studied 24 consecutive patients with full-thickness rotator cuff tears, in which the free tendon edge could not be reduced to the footprint after the release and mobilization of the rotator cuff tendon. Rotator cuff repair integrity was determined by magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasonography after the operation. The mean age and follow-up period for the patients were 60 years and 31 months.

Half of the repairs were found to be retorn at followup. While the clinical outcomes were improved for the entire group, the VAS, ASES, UCLA and Constant scores were not different between the healed and the unhealed shoulders. 

The authors make the somewhat quizzical statement: "Although the functional scores were not significantly different between the healed and unhealed groups after margin convergence, it does not mean that margin convergence would be better than not fully reducing the cuff or not repairing the cuff at all."

It would have been informative had the authors analyzed the effects of age and tear size on the functional result.

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