Massive irreparable rotator cuff tears in patients without advanced glenohumeral arthritis can pose a challenge to surgeons. Numerous management strategies have been utilized, and studies have shown varied results with regard to shoulder pain, range of motion, strength, and overall function.Hypothesis:
Patients undergoing repair of massive irreparable rotator cuff tears through a mini-open approach with the use of human dermal tissue matrix allograft would demonstrate an improvement in pain, range of motion, strength, and subjective functional outcomes.Study Design:
Case series; Level of evidence, 4.Methods:
We performed a prospective observational study of 24 patients who underwent interposition repair of massive rotator cuff tears using human dermal allograft. All patients were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively by the treating surgeon. Data were collected preoperatively and postoperatively for an average 3-year follow-up period (range, 29-40 months). Active range of motion as well as supraspinatus and infraspinatus strength was assessed. Subjective outcome measures included pain level (visual analog scale of 0-10, with 10 = severe pain), American Shoulder and Elbow Score (ASES), and Short-Form 12 (SF-12) score. Imaging evaluation to assess for repair integrity was performed using static and dynamic ultrasonography at final follow-up.Results:
Mean pain level decreased from 5.4 to 0.9 (P = .0002). Mean active forward flexion and external rotation motion improved from 111.7° to 157.3° (P = .0002) and from 46.2° to 65.1 ° (P = .001), respectively. Mean shoulder abduction improved from 105.0° to 151.7° (P = .0001). Supraspinatus and infraspinatus strength improved from 7.2 to 9.4 (P = .0003) and from 7.8 to 9.3 (P = .002), respectively. Mean ASES improved from 66.6 to 88.7 (P = .0003). Mean SF-12 scores improved from 48.8 to 56.8 (P = .03). One partial graft retear occurred because of patient noncompliance during postoperative rehabilitation. However, this patient still demonstrated improvement in pain, motion, and subjective outcomes at final follow-up. Ultrasonography demonstrated "fully intact" repairs in 76% of patients. All remaining patients had "partially intact" repairs. There were no complete tears.Conclusion:
In our series of carefully selected candidates, all patients demonstrated a significant improvement in pain, range of motion, and strength. Subjective outcome measures, including mean ASES and SF-12 scores, also demonstrated significant improvement at an average 3-year follow-up.