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Management of massive rotator cuff tears: prospective study in 218 patients

Abstract : BACKGROUND: No consensus exists about the management of massive and symptomatic rotator cuff tears (RCTs). The objective of this study was to compare the 12-month clinical outcomes of various treatment options for massive RCTs. HYPOTHESIS: Arthroscopic surgery has a role to play in the treatment of massive and apparently irreparable RCTs. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A prospective multicentre non-randomised study was performed in patients with massive RCTs managed non-operatively (NONOP) or by arthroscopic tenotomy/tenodesis of the long head of biceps (aTLB), arthroscopic partial tendon repair (aPTR), arthroscopic latissimus dorsi transfer (aLDT), or reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA). Clinical outcomes were evaluated based on the Constant score, Subjective Shoulder Value (SSV), and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score after 3, 6, and 12 months. RESULTS: The 218 included patients (mean age, 69 years) were distributed as follows: NONOP, n=71; aTLB, n=26; aPTR, n=61; aLDT, n=25; and RSA, n=35. After 12 months, the mean Constant score, SSV, and ASES score values were 70, 68%, and 73, respectively, and had improved significantly versus the preoperative values in all treatment groups. RSA was the only treatment followed by improvements in all Constant score items. Active forwards elevation improved significantly in the NONOP (+25°), aPTR (+26°), and RSA (+66°) groups. An improvement in active external rotation was seen only in the RSA group, where it was small (+10°, p=0.046). Significant increases in internal rotation were seen in the NONOP (+1.6 points) and aPTR (+1.7 points) groups. CONCLUSION: Arthroscopic techniques (aTLB, aPTR, and aLDT) for managing massive irreparable RCTs produce significant functional gains. Partial tendon repair (aPTR) and RSA may provide better outcomes than isolated aTLB or aLDT.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 9:00:01 AM
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Maxime Cavalier, Stéphane Jullion, Jean Kany, Jean Grimberg, Yves Lefebvre, et al.. Management of massive rotator cuff tears: prospective study in 218 patients. Orthopaedics and Traumatology - Surgery and Research, Elsevier, 2018, 104 (8), pp.S193-S197. ⟨10.1016/j.otsr.2018.09.007⟩. ⟨hal-02135078⟩

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