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Arthroscopic biceps augmentation does not improve clinical outcomes during incomplete repair of large to massive rotator cuff tears

Bone Joint J. 2022 Nov;104-B(11):1234-1241. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.104B11.BJJ-2022-0422.R2.


AIMS: This study compared patients who underwent arthroscopic repair of large to massive rotator cuff tears (LMRCTs) with isolated incomplete repair of the tear and patients with incomplete repair with biceps tendon augmentation. We aimed to evaluate the additional benefit on clinical outcomes and the capacity to lower the re-tear rate.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 1,115 patients who underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff repair for full-thickness tears between October 2011 and May 2019. From this series, we identified 77 patients (28 male, 49 female) with a mean age of 64.1 years (50 to 80). Patients were classified into groups A (n = 47 incomplete) and B (n = 30 with biceps augmentation) according to the nature of their reconstruction. Clinical scores were checked preoperatively and at six months, one year, and two years postoperatively. In preoperative MRI, we measured the tear size, the degree of fatty infiltration, and muscle volume ratio of the supraspinatus. In postoperative MRI, the integrity of the repaired rotator cuff tendon was assessed using the Sugaya classification. Tendon thickness at the footprint was evaluated on T2-weighted oblique coronal view.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the initial preoperative demographic characteristics. In both groups, there were significant improvements in postoperative clinical scores (p < 0.001). However, most clinical outcomes, including range of motion measurements (forward elevation, external rotation, internal rotation, and abduction), showed no differences between the pre- and postoperative values. Comparing the postoperative outcomes of both groups, no further improvement from biceps augmentation was found. Group B, although not reaching statistical significance, had more re-tears than group A (30% vs 15%; p = 0.117).

CONCLUSION: In LMRCTs, biceps augmentation provided no significant improvement of an incomplete repair. Therefore, biceps augmentation is not recommended in the treatment of LMRCTs.Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2022;104-B(11):1234-1241.

PMID:36317346 | DOI:10.1302/0301-620X.104B11.BJJ-2022-0422.R2

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