The relationship between greater tuberosity osteopenia and the chronicity of rotator cuff tears

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. Jan-Feb 2008;17(1):73-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2007.04.017. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

Abstract

This study investigated whether a relationship exists between greater tuberosity osteopenia and chronicity of rotator cuff tears. In a retrospective study, anteroposterior radiographs of 28 shoulders in 27 patients who had undergone surgical repair for rotator cuff tears were reviewed. Greater tuberosity osteopenia scores were created using National Institutes of Health digital image software. There was no significant difference in the mean age between patients with minimal to mild rotator cuff tear retraction (63.1 +/- 6.14 years) and patients with moderate to severe rotator cuff tear retraction (63.4 +/- 9.76 years; P = .77). Of the 13 patients with minimal to mild rotator cuff tear retraction, 10 (77%) were women and 3 (23%) were men. Of 14 patients (50%) with moderate to severe rotator cuff tear retraction, 7 were men and 7 were women. The mean greater tuberosity osteopenia score in the 15 patients with moderate to severe retraction (0.48 +/- 0.095) was significantly less than the greater tuberosity osteopenia score in the 13 patients with minimal to mild retraction (0.58 +/- 0.135; P < .05). Furthermore, the mean greater tuberosity osteopenia score in 6 patients with chronic retracted rotator cuff tears (0.48 +/- 0.125) was significantly less than in the 6 patients with acute minimally retracted tears (0.64 +/- 0.119, P < .05). There were significantly greater osteopenic changes in the greater tuberosity in patients with chronic retracted rotator cuff tears. The greater tuberosity osteopenia may affect anchor pullout strength and the healing biology that influences overall rotator cuff repair healing rates.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Humerus / diagnostic imaging
  • Humerus / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotator Cuff / diagnostic imaging
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Rupture
  • Shoulder / diagnostic imaging