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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X

SA orthop. j. vol.7 n.3 Centurion Jul./Sep. 2008




Clinical outcomes after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair



PJ CoertzeI; JG MyburghII; CA KillianIII; W TollingII; R SteynII

I(MBChB) (UP). Registrar
II(MMed (Orth)) (UP). Principal Specialist, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pretoria
III(MBChB) (UP), W Tollig (MBChB) (UP), R Steyn (MBChB) (UP) Registrars, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pretoria





BACKGROUND: Despite the fact that a few studies have reported good results following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, other studies have raised concern regarding the biomechanical strength and integrity of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The purpose of this study was to independently evaluate the clinical results after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
METHODS: We performed an independent retrospective review of 42 consecutive patients who underwent arthroscopic decompression and rotator cuff repair between 01 October 2002 and 30 November 2006. Indications for surgery were pain and decreased shoulder function that did not respond to conservative treatment. Complete data were available for a minimum of 12 months postoperatively.
The patients were evaluated both pre-operatively and at follow-up using a Visual Analogue Pain Score (VAS), the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon's (ASES) Outcome Score and clinical examination. Their ranges of motion as well as muscle strength were evaluated.
RESULTS: The ASES and VAS scores, range of motion and muscle strength were significantly improved after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
CONCLUSION: Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair can reliably improve both shoulder pain and function, regardless of tear size. Future arthroscopic results may be improved with a double row suture technique and improved instrumentation and anchors. We are engaged in a follow-up study to ultrasonically evaluate the structural integrity of the arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs at a minimum of one year post-surgery.



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Dr JG Myburgh
Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pretoria
Private Bag x 169, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 352-2838; Fax: (012) 354-2821

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