Arthroscopic Superior Capsule Reconstruction With Fascia Lata Autograft And In-Situ Biceps Tendon Augmentation: Feasible Outcomes After Minimum Two-Year Follow-Up

Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil. 2022 Aug 14;4(5):e1675-e1682. doi: 10.1016/j.asmr.2022.06.014. eCollection 2022 Oct.


Purpose: To investigate the preliminary functional and radiographic outcomes after arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR) with long head of biceps tendon (LHBT) augmentation for irreparable rotator cuff tears (RCTs).

Methods: Retrospective review of medical records was conducted in patients receiving unilateral SCR with fascia lata autograft and LHBT augmentation for irreparable RCTs between January 2016 and March 2019. LHBT was adopted when the integrity was intact or partial tear was less than 50% in width. We used all-suture anchors for folded graft patch fixation with 2 in supraglenoid fossa and another 2 plus two knotless anchors via compression suture-bridging technique in greater tuberosity. Reinforced fixation with side-to-side suture was added between infraspinatus tendon and graft patch, and between proximal LHBT and graft to improve force coupling. Clinical and radiographic outcomes including magnetic resonance imaging analysis at 2-year follow-up were investigated and compared with preoperative status.

Results: Consecutive 18 patients (mean age, 66.1 years) were included. Mean active forward elevation significantly improved from 75.6⁰ to 157.2⁰ (P < .0001), and external rotation from 33.3⁰ to 53.3⁰ (P < .01). Mean acromiohumeral distance increased from 6.1 ± 2.5 mm to 8.5 ± 2.1 mm (P < .001). The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score improved from 33.8 ± 5.6 to 93.4 ± 5.92 points (P < .00001). Comparable outcomes were found in patients with intact LHBT and those with partial tear. Nine patients had partial tear of graft patch (5, tuberosity side; 4 posterior glenoid); 2 patients had complete tear (tuberosity side) showing inferior outcomes.

Conclusions: The index surgery restored superior glenohumeral stability and function of the shoulder with irreparable RCTs. Despite high incidence of partial graft tear, favorable outcomes suggest SCR with biceps tendon augmentation is a feasible treatment for irreparable RCTs.

Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.