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Complications of open and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair

Authors: P Mansat

References: SECEC 2005

Abstract
We reviewed 60 reported series of open rotator cuff repair published between 1982 and 2004 which included 5104 patients, average age 57 years, followed-up an average of 46 months. In the same way, 28 series of all arthroscopic rotator cuff repair published between 1997 and 2005, which included 1777 patients, average age 59 years, followed-up an average of 32 months were analyzed. We found a total of 487 complications (9.5%) in the open repair group requiring revision surgery in 149 cases (3%). In the arthroscopic group a complication was noted 175 cases (9.8%) with a revision rate of 12 out of 1777 (0.6%). In both groups the major complication was failing of haling of the rotator cuff tendon repair, which reached 7% in the open repair group and 8.2% in the arthroscopic group. However, in not all the series an imaging study was used to evaluate objectively the integrity of the repair. Infection was the second most frequent complication in the open group (0.8%), followed by nerve injury (0.6%), deltoid insufficiency (0.45%) and frozen shoulder (0.35%). In the arthroscopic group infection was very rare (0.2%), deltoid insufficiency anecdotal, whereas frozen shoulder was more frequent (0.6%). Unsatisfactory results were found to be around 5.3% in the arthroscopic group and 10% in the open repair group.

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