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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2001 Jan-Feb;10(1):11-6.

A less invasive surgery for rotator cuff tear: mini-open repair.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto City, Nagano, Japan.


As a less invasive surgery of the shoulder, the mini-open repair was carried out from March 1997 through December 1998 in 22 patients (mini-open repair group) for all types of rotator cuff tears, except massive tears. A transacromial skin incision about 3 cm long was made. The anterior deltoid was split along its muscle fibers, and an anterior acromioplasty was accomplished by using a specially designed bone rasp. The rotator cuff was repaired with use of the McLaughlin technique. The results were compared with those obtained in 36 patients subjected to conventional open surgery from April 1994 through February 1997 (control group). No significant difference was seen between the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) shoulder scores of the two groups 1 year after the repair. However, active forward flexion in the mini-open group was significantly greater than in the control group 3 and 6 months after surgery. With mini-open repair, patients seem to be able to return to sports or social activities earlier than with conventional open surgery.

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