Repair results of 2-tendon rotator cuff tears utilizing the transosseous equivalent technique

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2010 Dec;19(8):1210-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2010.03.018. Epub 2010 Aug 3.


Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the healing rate of 2-tendon rotator cuff tears repaired by the use of a transosseous-equivalent (TOE) suture bridge technique.

Materials and methods: Forty-three patients with combined supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendon tears underwent arthroscopic repair using TOE technique. Forty of these patients were then evaluated by MRI and clinical exam at a minimum of 1-year follow-up to determine the rate of healing of the repair and clinical outcomes associated with healing.

Results: Eighty-three percent of the repairs demonstrated intact rotator cuff repairs at a mean of 16 months post-op. Larger tears (3.5 vs 2.8 cm) were associated with failure (P = .01), as was more advanced fatty infiltration (Goutallier 1.3 vs 0.3, P = .01). Age was not different between intact and nonintact tendons. Strength was the only clinical finding that differed between intact and nonintact tendons.

Conclusion: Two-tendon tears of the rotator cuff can heal at a high rate with the use of TOE suture bridge repair technique. Furthermore, tear size and Goutallier grading were negatively correlated with postoperative healing. The incremental improvement in the rate of observed rotator cuff healing still does not translate to statistical differences in the objective shoulder scoring systems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods
  • Rotator Cuff / pathology
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing