Transitioning to arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: the pros and cons.

Authors: Yamaguchi K, Levine WN, Marra G, Galatz LM, Klepps S, Flatow EL.

References: Instr Course Lect.2003; 52:81 -92.

There has been much recent enthusiasm regarding complete arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, and it is becoming apparent that, for many, this newer technique may be a preferable alternative to the more traditional mini-open rotator cuff repair. Several short-term studies have demonstrated that complete arthroscopic repair has excellent results comparable with those of mini-open repair, which is also an excellent technique. The choice of which procedure may be better for an individual patient or surgeon can be based on a variety of considerations, including the patient's expectations, the pathoanatomy of the cuff, and the surgical experience of the surgeon. The relative merits and disadvantages of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair are discussed on the basis of those considerations. When a surgeon is deciding which procedure to perform, it is important that the basic principles of rotator cuff repair not be compromised and that he or she perform the procedure that is most reproducible given his or her level of experience; however, for those who are now utilizing miniopen repair, arthroscopic repair may have important advantages and may be worth pursuing in the future. If a surgeon chooses to obtain the skills necessary to perform a complete arthroscopic repair, performance of the mini-open procedure offers an excellent opportunity to make an orderly transition.


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