Purpose: Historically, results of open revision of rotator cuff repair have been mixed and often poor. We reviewed the outcomes of revision rotator cuff repair with a detailed analysis of clinical and radiographic risk factors in order to improve patient selection for this type of surgery.
Materials and methods: Thirty-six patients (37 shoulders) underwent first-time, open revision rotator cuff repair between 1995 and 2005. Average follow-up was 7.0 years (range 1-14.9 years). The tear size was small in 1 shoulder, medium in 8, large in 22 and massive in 6. Associations of 29 clinical and radiographic factors with the outcomes of pain, motion, and function were assessed.
Results: Satisfactory outcome occurred in 22 shoulders (59%): An excellent result in 2, a good result in 7, and a fair result in 13. Unsatisfactory, poor results occurred in 15. Pain was substantially reduced in 25 (68%). Median pain scores decreased to five from a pre-operative eight (P = 0.002). Median motion did not change from pre-operative to post-operative. The chance of a satisfactory outcome and improved post-operative motion were associated with males, greater pre-operative motion, increased acromial humeral distance, the absence of glenohumeral arthritis, or a degenerative re-tear.
Conclusions: Revision rotator cuff repair, although a safe operation, with a low re-operative rate, has very mixed overall results. By knowing the factors associated with success, surgeons can better counsel patients and with this increased knowledge, consider alternative treatment choices.
Keywords: Factor analysis; revision; rotator cuff; shoulder.