SICOT Global Network for Electronic Learning - SIGNEL

Article of the Month: International Orthopaedics Journal

Treatment of irreparable cuff tears with smoothing of the humeroscapular motion interface without acromioplasty

Jason E. Hsu, Jacob Gorbaty, Robert Lucas, Stacy M. Russ & Frederick A. Matsen III


Purpose: We sought to determine whether shoulders with irreparable rotator cuff tears and retained active elevation can be durably improved using a conservative surgical procedure that smoothes the interface between the proximal humeral convexity and the concave undersurface of the coracoacromial arch followed by immediate range of motion exercises.

Methods: We reviewed 151 patients with a mean age of 63.4 (range 40-90) years at a mean of 7.3 (range 2-19) years after this surgery.

Results: In 77 shoulders with previously unrepaired irreparable tears, Simple Shoulder Test (SST) scores improved from an average of 4.6 (range 0-12) to 8.5 (range 1-12) (p<0.001). Fifty-four patients (70%) improved by at least the minimally clinically important difference (MCID) of 2 SST points. For 74 shoulders with irreparable failed prior repairs, SST scores improved from 4.0 (range 0-11) to 7.5 (range 0-12) (p<0.001). Fifty-four patients (73%) improved by the MCID of 2 SST points.

Conclusion: Smoothing of the humeroscapular interface can improve symptomatic shoulders with irreparable cuff tears and retained active elevation. This conservative procedure offers an alternative to more complex procedures in the management of irreparable rotator cuff tears.


DOI : 10.1007/s00264-017-3486-2