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Massive rotator cuff tears: debridement versus repair.

Authors: Melillo AS, Savoie FH 3rd, Field LD.

References: Orthop Clin North Am. 1997 Jan;28(1):117-24.

Abstract
In many studies, short-term and midterm results of debridement seem to show satisfactory results. However, the three long-term studies currently available all report that these initial results deteriorate significantly with time and are not acceptable. If debridement is considered, careful preoperative and intraoperative evaluation as discussed by Burkhart should be followed. We believe an adequate understanding of the anatomic subtleties, pathologic changes, biomechanical forces, and advanced reconstructive techniques allows repair to be performed in most, if not all, rotator cuff tears of the shoulder. The findings of the study described herein indicate that repair of these tears is the treatment of choice.

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