Background: Controversy exists regarding the optimal technique for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The purpose of this multicenter, randomized, double-blind controlled study was to compare the functional outcomes and healing rates after use of single-row and double-row suture techniques for repair of the rotator cuff.
Methods: Ninety patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair were randomized to receive either a single-row or a double-row repair. The primary objective was to compare the Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index (WORC) score at twenty-four months. Secondary objectives included comparison of the Constant and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) scores and strength between groups. Anatomical outcomes were assessed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasonography to determine the postoperative healing rates.
Results: Baseline demographic data including age (p = 0.29), sex (p = 0.68), affected side (p = 0.39), and rotator cuff tear size (p = 0.28) did not differ between groups. The WORC score did not differ significantly between groups at any time point (p = 0.48 at baseline, p = 0.089 at three months, p = 0.52 at six months, p = 0.83 at twelve months, and p = 0.60 at twenty-four months). The WORC score at each postoperative time point was significantly better than the baseline value. The Constant score, ASES score, and strength did not differ significantly between groups at any time point. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that a smaller initial tear size and double-row fixation were associated with higher healing rates.
Conclusions: No significant differences in functional or quality-of-life outcomes were identified between single-row and double-row fixation techniques. A smaller initial tear size and a double-row fixation technique were associated with higher healing rates as assessed with ultrasonography or MRI.
Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
1Division of Orthopaedics (P.L.C.L. and K.B.), Department of Diagnostic Imaging (K.R.), The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, W1648, Box 502, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6, Canada. E-mail address for P.L.C. Lapner: email@example.com. E-mail address for K. Rakhra: firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail address for K. Bell: email@example.com
2Methods Centre, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, Box 208, Room W0590, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6, Canada. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
3Pan Am Clinic, 75 Poseidon Bay, Winnipeg, MB R3M 3E4, Canada. E-mail address for S. McRae: email@example.com. E-mail address for J. Leiter: firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail address for P. MacDonald: email@example.com