Rotator Cuff Retears

JBJS Rev. 2020 Jan;8(1):e0039. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.RVW.19.00039.


» Regardless of recent advances in rotator cuff repair techniques, the rate of unhealed or recurrent rotator cuff tears remains high, with most recurrent rotator cuff tears occurring within the first 6 months after surgery. » Factors that can negatively affect tendon healing include older age, greater tear size, tendon retraction, and fatty infiltration. However, several clinical features that are often underestimated, including osteoporosis, diabetes, smoking, and hyperlipidemia, have proven to have an important influence on rotator cuff healing. » Recent meta-analyses that evaluated studies with Level-I and Level-II evidence have shown an overall increase in retear rates after single-row repair compared with double-row repair. However, to our knowledge, there are no Level-I clinical studies comparing different double-row configurations and, to date, no double-row repair technique has proven to be superior to the others. » The influence of postoperative rotator cuff healing on clinical outcomes is controversial. Although clinical differences may not be apparent in the short term, healed tendons have had better functional outcomes and greater strength in the midterm. » In general, a period of immobilization for 2 to 4 weeks, depending on tear size, is recommended. Graded supervised rehabilitation has proven to facilitate tendon healing without associated stiffness compared with early unprotected range of motion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Reinjuries*
  • Risk Factors
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*