Case Series Offers Insights into Rotator Cuff RepairTwo doctors from Austria present the results of a special operation to repair a torn rotator cuff in the shoulder. Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to repair torn tendons and muscles without cutting the shoulder open. There are many advantages to this type of operation. This article presents the results for 84 patients after three years.
All patients in the study had tried treatment with drugs, injections, and physical therapy before the operation, with no success. The same repair method was used in each surgery. A newer technique of knot tying for the sutures was used.
During the operation the surgeons took careful note of many factors. They measured the size of tear and recorded what kind of tear it was. They looked at the quality and movement of the four tendons in the rotator cuff. The number of sutures and the types of knots used to hold the repair in place were recorded. These findings were compared to X-rays taken before and after the operation.
The authors report good results with this repair method. Pain, motion, and everyday function were just as good after this operation as with other techniques. Results depended on the size of the tear and the shape of the acromion. The acromion is a bone that curves over the top of the shoulder and connects to the collar bone.
This study showed that arthroscopy can be used even for medium to large tears of the rotator cuff. The surgeons report that the specific technique they used gives a better chance for healing. After three years, their patients still had a tension-free and stable repair. A study of long-term results is still needed to see if the repair holds up over time.
Harald Boszotta, MD, and Klaus PrÃ¼nner, MD. Arthroscopically Assisted Rotator Cuff Repair. In Arthroscopy. July-August 2004. Vol. 20. No. 6. Pp. 620-626.
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