[Results of a series of deltoid flaps for the treatment of massive rotator cuff tears with an average follow-up of 3.5 years]

Rev Chir Orthop Reparatrice Appar Mot. 1996;82(1):22-28.
[Article in French]


Purpose of the study: We report a series of 14 patients with a massive rotator cuff tear operated on with a deltoid flap according to Augereau's technique. The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefits of this technique using Constant's scoring system. The follow up is 40 months.

Material and method: 14 patients, mean age 59 years, with a total rotator cuff tear type III according to Gerber's classification were included. There was 13 total ruptures of the supra and infra spinatus tendon and one infraspinatus and subscapularis lesion. All the patients had shoulder pain, and the preoperative, Constant's score was 24.1/100. The diagnosis of the rotator cuff rupture was confirmed by X-rays, arthrography and ultra-sonography. 8 patients had a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) evaluation. The surgical procedure was the technique described by Augereau, and three patients had a resection of the distal clavicle. One patient had a small piece of dacron to reinforce the suture of a very thin deltoid flap. All the patients had a immobilization in abduction and the rehabilitation programm began immediately.

Results: Results on pain were good: +11.4 points according to Constant's score, but improvement strength (+0.7 point) or motion (+1 point) was not significative. Postoperative Constant's score was 46.9, ponderated score increased from 29.5 per cent to 57.5 per cent. Ten patients were very satisfied, 2 were satisfied and two were disappointed. One of them neaded shoulder arthrodesis; the other needed a new surgery to remove the piece of dacron, and was allayed with NSAI drugs. External rotation was slightly increased: +2 point.

Discussion: These results are similar to others series on pain relief, but the results are poor on strength restauration and on shoulder motion. This technique is a heavy surgical procedure and results are not better than arthroscopic sub acromial decompression for massive rotator cuff tear.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Rupture
  • Shoulder / surgery*
  • Surgical Flaps*