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Advances in Shoulder Arthroscopy

Rotator cuff repair surgery has slowly changed from a full open procedure to an all-arthroscopic (closed) operation. The middle step was a mini-open repair that combined arthroscopy with a small incision. In this study, results of the mini-open repair are compared to an all-arthroscopic method.

Patients ranging in age from 37 to 75 years old were included in this study. Sixty-nine (69) patients had the all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. Fifty-eight (58) patients had the mini-open repair. The results showed no difference between the two groups. Pain relief and improved function were the same for both groups. Rates of healing were very similar for patients in both groups.

The authors conclude the all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair has become a very popular way to repair a torn rotator cuff tendon. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, the results were the same for both techniques. Repair failure rates were also equal between the two groups.

The choice of surgical method for rotator cuff repair is up to the surgeon. Experience and comfort level are the usual deciding factors. If the surgeon chooses to use the all-arthroscopic aproach, then the results can be just as good as with the mini-open method.


Nikhil N. Verma, MD, et al. All-Arthroscopic Versus Mini-Open Rotator Cuff Repair: A Retrospective Review with Minimum 2-Year Follow-up. In The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery. June 2006. Vol. 22. No. 6. Pp. 587-594.

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