Backround Is there a reason for repairing massive cuff tears.
Methods 58 consecutive patients with a massive rotator cuff tear had arthroscopic repair between November 2004 and May 2006 with the presented technique. The average age was 68.4 years ( 49–86).Mean follow up was 46.2 months (38–56). Thirty of those patients were available for review 20 months later, follow up 65(53–76) 0.33 had ultrasound and 34 had X rays
Results In 45 patients available for scoring the mean Oxford score was 44(19–48) with 42 (93%) graded as excellent or good and only one poor result and at final review 45 (27–48).The mean postoperative Constant score at follow up was 74(32.8–97.4) rising to 76 (41–96) in 2011 and statistical analysis showed that improvement in both Oxford and Constant scores was significant(probability <0.05). There was a statistically significant improvement regarding pain, movement and activities of daily living but not strength. Ultrasound findings correlated with postoperative strength and Constant scores but not with any other factor or the Oxford score. Similar was the correlation for radiographic osteoarthritis. At final follow up, improvements in all scores remain statistically significant whether there is a retear or thinning or development of osteoarthritis or not.
Conclusion The results suggest that arthroscopic repair of massive rotator cuff tears can achieve excellent clinical results The outcome in the longer term is unknown.
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