Mid-term clinical and sonographic outcome of arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff

O. Levy, B. Venkateswaran, T. Even, M. Ravenscroft, S. Copeland
2008 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery  
We have conducted a prospective study to assess the mid-term clinical results following arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff. Patients were evaluated using the Constant score, subjective satisfaction levels and post-operative ultrasound scans. Of 115 consecutive patients who underwent arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff at our institution, 102 were available for follow-up. The mean period of follow-up was for 35.8 months (24 to 73). The mean age of the patients was 57.3 years (23 to 78).
more » ... 3 years (23 to 78). There were 18 small (≤ 1 cm in diameter), 44 medium (1 cm to 3 cm in diameter), 34 large (3 cm to 5 cm in diameter) and six massive (> 5 cm in diameter) tears. There was a statistically significant increase in the size of the tear with increasing age (p = 0.0048). The mean pre-operative Constant score was 41.4 points (95% confidence interval, 37.9 to 44.9), which improved to 84.5 (95% confidence interval, 82.2 to 86.9). A significant inverse association (p = 0.0074), was observed between the size of the tear and the post-operative Constant score, with patients having smaller tears attaining higher Constant scores after repair. Post-operatively, 80 patients (78.4%) were able to resume their occupations and 84 (82.4%) returned to their pre-injury leisure activities. Only eight (7.8%) of 102 patients were not satisfied with the outcome. Recurrent tears were detected by ultrasound in 19 (18.6%) patients, and were generally smaller than the original ones. Patients with recurrent tears experienced a mean improvement of 31.6 points (95% confidence interval, 23.6 to 39.6) in their post-operative Constant scores. Those with intact repairs had significantly improved (p < 0.0001) Constant scores (mean improvement 46.3 points, 95% confidence interval, 41.9 to 50.6). Patient satisfaction was high in 94 cases (92%), irrespective of the outcome of the Constant score. Recurrent tears appear to be linked to age-related degeneration. Arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff leads to high rates of satisfaction (92%) and good functional results, albeit with a recurrence rate of 18.6% (19 of 102).
doi:10.1302/0301-620x.90b10.19989 pmid:18827245 fatcat:rr2vxrvomncfnlrxomfryryhte