How do massive immobile rotator cuff tears behave after arthroscopic interval slides? Comparison with mobile tears

Chiara Fossati, Paolo Arrigoni, Vincenza Ragone, Pietro Spennacchio, Giuseppe Banfi, Filippo Randelli, Pietro Randelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: the aim of this study was to compare clinical outcomes of contracted immobile massive rotator cuff tears mobilised through an arthroscopic interval slide technique versus massive mobile cuff tears directly repaired without any mobilisation. Methods: twenty-five patients who underwent arthroscopic repair for massive rotator cuff tears with a minimum of 18 months follow-up were included. The patients were retrospectively divided into two groups. In group 1, a single or double interval slide was performed to achieve adequate tendon mobilisation. In group 2 (control group), massive rotator cuff tears were arthroscopically repaired without any additional release. Patients were evaluated with validated outcomes scores: subjective and objective Constant score, a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain, and single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE). Results: the two groups were comparable in terms of age, gender and involvement of the dominant arm. The mean follow-up duration was 31 months in group 1 and 28 months in group 2 (p = 0.4). The two groups showed no significant differences in SANE and VAS results (group 1: SANE 77%, VAS 1.3; group 2: SANE 88%, VAS 1.6), or in total Constant score (group1: 66.5 ± 11; group 2: 75 ± 14; p = 0.1) and subjective Constant score (Group 1: 31 ± 5; group 2: 30.8 ± 7; p = 0.9). A significant difference was found for the objective Constant score, which was higher in the control group (group 1: 35.5 ± 7; group 2: 44 ± 8; p = 0.009). Conclusions: Subjective clinical outcomes of arthroscopic repair with or without interval slides did not differ and were satisfactory. Objectively, immobile cuff tears showed inferior results.The use of interval slides might be considered a first step or an alternative to more invasive procedures for low demanding patients. Level of evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2014


  • Arthroscopic repair
  • Immobile tears
  • Interval slide
  • Massive tears
  • Rotator cuff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery


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