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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2010 Jul;19(5):716-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2009.10.011. Epub 2010 Feb 4.

Total cost and operating room time comparison of rotator cuff repair techniques at low, intermediate, and high volume centers: mini-open versus all-arthroscopic.

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  • 1Aurora Advanced Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI 53209, USA.



The objective of this study was to determine mean cost and operative time differences between mini-open and all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair techniques at surgical centers of low, intermediate, and high annual rotator cuff repair volume.


The 2006 New York State Ambulatory Surgery Database (NY-SASD) was utilized. It represents 100% of all outpatient procedures performed in hospital-affiliated and freestanding surgical centers, containing 10,658,923 patients for 2006 alone. Only patients who had an arthroscopic acromioplasty and either open or arthroscopic rotator cuff repair were included, leaving 5,224 patients for the study. These were divided into 2 groups: the mini-open group (1,334) and the all-arthroscopic group (3,890). Surgical center volume data were divided into 3 groups: low volume (<75 rotator cuff repairs per year), intermediate volume (75-199 rotator cuff repairs per year), and high volume (200+ rotator cuff repairs per year).


Patient age and gender were normally distributed within the 2 groups with no significant differences between them (P = .82 and P = .31, respectively). Operative time was significantly shorter in the mini-open group (103 minutes) compared to the all-arthroscopic group (113 minutes), P < .00001. Surgical charges were also significantly less in the mini-open group ($7,841) compared to the all-arthroscopic group ($8,985), P < .00001. Regardless of the repair method, high volume surgical centers were significantly more expensive when compared to low and intermediate volume centers, P < .00001.


The mini-open rotator cuff repair technique requires significantly less operative time and is significantly less expensive than the all-arthroscopic repair. Regardless of the repair technique, high volume surgical centers cost significantly more than low and intermediate volume surgical centers.

2010 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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