Purpose: Arthroscopic techniques have become the gold standard in the operative management of several pathologic conditions of the shoulder. The purpose of this systematic review was to present the long-term outcomes following arthroscopic treatment of rotator cuff pathology.
Methods: A comprehensive literature review was performed to identify studies reporting clinical or structural results of arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs (ARCRs) at least 5 years after surgery.
Results: Ten articles were selected, which described 483 procedures. Study type, surgical approaches, complications, evidences of structural integrity of the repaired lesions, preoperative and postoperative functional scores are identified, analyzed and discussed. Satisfactory results are presented by all authors, and significant postoperative improvement is reported by all the studies with available preoperative data; 16 of 483 cases were re-operated.
Conclusion: Although high-level evidences are lacking, ARCR appears to be an effective and safe option to treat the symptoms of rotator cuff tears and to provide successful clinical results durable with time. Current evidences are insufficient to clearly define the relationship between structural integrity of repaired cuffs and long-term clinical outcome. The available data do not allow to draw conclusions regarding the long-term superiority of double-row versus single-row repairs.
Level of evidence: Review of level II, III and IV studies, Level IV.
- Arthroscopic repair
- Clinical outcomes
- Long term
- Rotator cuff tear
- Structural outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine