Three-Dimensional Evaluation of Cyclic Displacement in Single-Row and Double-Row Rotator Cuff Reconstructions Under Static External Rotation

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Abstract

Background:

The double-row suture bridge repair was recently introduced and has demonstrated superior biomechanical results and higher yield load compared with the traditional double-row technique. It therefore seemed reasonable to compare this second generation of double-row constructs to the modified single-row double mattress reconstruction.

Hypothesis:

The repair technique, initial tear size, and tendon subregion will have a significant effect on 3-dimensional (3D) cyclic displacement under additional static external rotation of a modified single-row compared with a double-row rotator cuff repair.

Study Design:

Controlled laboratory study.

Methods:

Rotator cuff tears (small to medium: 25 mm; medium to large: 35 mm) were created in 24 human cadaveric shoulders. Rotator cuff repairs were performed as modified single-row or double-row repairs, and cyclic loading (10–60 N, 10–100 N) was applied under 20° of external rotation. Radiostereometric analysis was used to calculate cyclic displacement in the anteroposterior (x), craniocaudal (y), and mediolateral (z) planes with a focus on the repair constructs and the initial tear size. Moreover, differences in cyclic displacement of the anterior compared with the posterior tendon subregions were calculated.

Results:

Significantly lower cyclic displacement was seen in small to medium tears for the single-row compared with double-row repair at 60 and 100 N in the × plane (P = .001) and y plane (P = .001). The results were similar in medium to large tears at 100 N in the x plane (P = .004). Comparison of 25-mm versus 35-mm tears did not show any statistically significant differences for the single-row repairs. In the double-row repairs, lower gap formation was found for the 35-mm tears (P ≤ .05). Comparison of the anterior versus posterior tendon subregions revealed a trend toward higher anterior gap formation, although this was statistically not significant.

Conclusion:

The tested single-row reconstruction achieved superior results in 3D cyclic displacement to the tested double-row repair. Extension of the initial rupture size did not have a negative effect on the biomechanical results of the tested constructs.

Clinical Relevance:

Single-row repairs with modified suture configurations provide comparable biomechanical strength to doublerow repairs. Furthermore, as increased gap formation in the early postoperative period might lead to failure of the construct, a strong anterior fixation and restricted external rotation protocol might be considered in rotator cuff repairs to avoid this problem.

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