Complications associated with arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: A literature review

P. Randelli, P. Spennacchio, V. Ragone, P. Arrigoni, A. Casella, P. Cabitza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this literature review was to report complications associated with arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (RCR). A computerized search of articles published between 200 and 2009 was performed using MEDLINE and PubMed. We included clinical studies (Level 1-4): (a) investigating patients with rotator cuff tears, managed by a completely arthroscopic RCR technique; (b) reported data about complications. Data about arthroscopic-assisted techniques were excluded. Articles that meet criteria inclusion were analytically examined. Complications were classified into general complications and specific complications related to arthroscopic RCR. We found 414 complications in 2,890 patients; most of them were specific complications related to arthroscopic RCR. Re-rupture was the most frequently encountered complication: re-tear rate ranged between 11.4 and 94%. Stiffness and hardwarerelated complications were observed in 74 and 12 patients, respectively. Eleven less common complications were also reported: 5 neurovascular, 3 septic, 2 thromboembolic events, and 1 anesthesiological complication. This review stated that arthroscopic RCR is a low-risk surgical procedure. Anatomical failure of the repair is the most common complication encountered in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalMusculoskeletal Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Arthroscopy
  • Complications
  • Outcome assessment
  • Rotator cuff repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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