Arthroscopic Single-Row Versus Double-Row Suture Bridge Technique for Rotator Cuff Tears in Patients Younger Than 55 Years: A Prospective Comparative Study

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Abstract

Background:

When arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is performed on a young patient, long-lasting structural and functional tendon integrity is desired. A fixation technique that potentially provides superior tendon healing should be considered for the younger population to achieve long-term clinical success.

Hypothesis/Purpose:

The purpose was to compare the radiological and clinical midterm results between single-row and double-row (ie, suture bridge) fixation techniques for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair in patients younger than 55 years. We hypothesized that a double-row technique would lead to improved tendon healing, resulting in superior mid- to long-term clinical outcomes.

Study Design:

Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods:

A consecutive series of 66 patients younger than 55 years with a medium to large full-thickness tear of supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons who underwent arthroscopic single-row or double-row (ie, suture bridge) repair were enrolled and prospectively observed. Thirty-four and 32 patients were assigned to single-row and double-row groups, respectively. Postoperatively, tendon integrity was assessed by MRI following Sugaya’s classification at a minimum of 12 months, and clinical outcomes were assessed with the Constant score and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) score at a minimum of 2 years.

Results:

Mean follow-up time was 46 months (range, 28-50 months). A higher tendon healing rate was obtained in the double-row group compared with the single-row group (84% and 61%, respectively [P < .05]). Although no difference in outcome scores was observed between the 2 techniques, patients with healed tendon demonstrated superior clinical outcomes compared with patients who had retorn tendon (UCLA score, 34.2 and 27.6, respectively [P < .05]; Constant score, 94 and 76, respectively [P < .05]).

Conclusion:

The double-row repair technique potentially provides superior tendon healing compared with the single-row technique. Double-row repair should be considered for patients younger than 55 years with medium to large rotator cuff tears.

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