Patient Factors Associated With Clinical Failure Following Arthroscopic Superior Capsular Reconstruction

Arthroscopy. 2021 Feb;37(2):460-467. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2020.09.038. Epub 2020 Sep 28.


Purpose: To identify demographic, clinical, and radiographic factors associated with failure after superior capsular reconstruction (SCR).

Methods: Prospectively collected data were analyzed from patients who underwent SCR using a decellularized dermal allograft for an irreparable rotator cuff tear. Demographic characteristics, radiographic findings, concomitant procedures, and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) were recorded. Failure was defined by ≥1 of the following criteria: (1) conversion to reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA), (2) a decrease in 1-year postoperative shoulder-specific PROs compared with preoperative scores, or (3) patient reports at final follow-up that the shoulder was in a worse condition than before surgery. Preoperative variables were compared between patients meeting the criteria for clinical failure and those who did not.

Results: Fifty-four patients (mean age 56.3 ± 5.8 years, range 45 to 70) who underwent SCR, with minimum 1-year follow-up, were included in the analysis. Mean follow-up after surgery was 24 months (range 12 to 53). Eleven patients (20.4%) met criteria for clinical failure. Of the 11, 8 reported decreased American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) or Constant scores or indicated that the operative shoulder was in a worse condition than before surgery. Three patients underwent RTSA in the 6 to 12 months after SCR. Female sex and the presence of a subscapularis tear were associated with failure (P = .023 and P = .029, respectively). A trend toward greater body mass index (BMI), lower preoperative forward flexion, and lower preoperative acromiohumeral distance (AHD) was found in patients with clinical failure (P = .075, P = .088, and P = .081, respectively). No other variable included in the analysis was significantly associated with failure.

Conclusion: The proportions of female patients and those with subscapularis tear were greater among patients with clinical failure after SCR. Greater BMI, lower preoperative forward flexion, and lower preoperative AHD trended toward association with clinical failure of SCR.

Level of evidence: 4, case series.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Allografts
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Dermis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Postoperative Care
  • Preoperative Care
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / physiopathology
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / surgery*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery
  • Treatment Failure