Predictors of Early Complications After Rotator Cuff Repair

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Abstract

To identify risk factors for complications after rotator cuff repair, all repairs (open and arthroscopic, single row and double row, primary and revision) performed by a single surgeon over a 4-year period were reviewed. Complications were classified as minor or major. Minor complications included serous drainage, local erythema resolving with observation or oral antibiotics, and associated shoulder girdle tendinitis. Major complications included wound or deltoid dehiscence, recurrent rotator cuff tear with clinical decompensation, and deep infection requiring surgical treatment. Ninety-two patients (96 repairs, 31 open and 65 arthroscopic, 87 primary and 9 revision) met inclusion criteria. The overall complication rate at 12 weeks was 10.5% (3 minor and 7 major complications). The complication rate with open repair (26%) was significantly higher than with all-arthroscopic repair (3%). Large/massive tears had a 21% complication rate compared with 5% in small/medium tears. There was no statistically significant difference in complication rates between single-row (9%) and double-row (25%) repairs or between revisions (22%) and primary repairs (9%). Open repair, large/massive tear size, tobacco use, and preoperative narcotic use were statistically significant predictors of complications in the early (<12 wk) postoperative period after rotator cuff repair.

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