Purpose: To evaluate the outcomes of two commonly used transosseous-equivalent (TOE) arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (RCR) techniques for full-thickness supraspinatus tendon tears (FTST) using a robust multi-predictor model.
Methods: 155 shoulders in 151 patients (109 men, 42 women; mean age 59 ± 10 years) who underwent arthroscopic RCR of FTST, using either a knotted suture bridging (KSB) or a knotless tape bridging (KTB) TOE technique were included. ASES and SF-12 PCS scores assessed at a minimum of 2 years postoperatively were modeled using propensity score weighting in a multiple linear regression model. Patients able to return to the study center underwent a follow-up MRI for evaluation of rotator cuff integrity.
Results: The outcome data were available for 137 shoulders (88%; n = 35/41 KSB; n = 102/114 KTB). Seven patients (5.1%) that underwent revision rotator cuff surgery were considered failures. The median postoperative ASES score of the remaining 130 shoulders was 98 at a mean follow-up of 2.9 years (range 2.0-5.4 years). A higher preoperative baseline outcome score and a longer follow-up had a positive effect, whereas a previous RCR and workers' compensation claims (WCC) had a negative effect on final ASES or SF 12 PCS scores. The repair technique, age, gender and the number of anchors used for the RCR had no significant influence. Fifty-two patients returned for a follow-up MRI at a mean of 4.4 years postoperatively. Patients with a KSB RCR were significantly more likely to have an MRI-diagnosed full-thickness rotator cuff re-tear (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Excellent outcomes can be achieved at a minimum of 2 years following arthroscopic KSB or KTB TOE RCR of FTST. The preoperative baseline outcome score, a prior RCR, WCC and the length of follow-up significantly influenced the outcome scores. The repair technique did not affect the final functional outcomes, but patients with KTB TOE RCR were less likely to have a full-thickness rotator cuff re-tear.
Level of evidence: Level III, Retrospective Comparative Study.
Keywords: Double row; Knotless; Knotted; Rotator cuff repair; Suture bridge; Tape; Transosseous equivalent.