Predictors of outcomes after arthroscopic transosseous equivalent rotator cuff repair in 155 cases: a propensity score weighted analysis of knotted and knotless self-reinforcing repair techniques at a minimum of 2 years

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2017 Oct;137(10):1399-1408. doi: 10.1007/s00402-017-2750-7. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy* / adverse effects
  • Arthroscopy* / methods
  • Arthroscopy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Propensity Score
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries* / diagnostic imaging
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries* / surgery
  • Suture Techniques* / adverse effects
  • Suture Techniques* / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome