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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2007 Sep-Oct;16(5):640-8. Epub 2007 Jun 20.

Use of bipolar radiofrequency energy in delayed repair of acute supraspinatus tears in rats.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.


The purpose of this study is to determine if bipolar radiofrequency energy (bRFE) can enhance delayed surgical repair of acute supraspinatus tendon tears. Bilateral supraspinatus tendon tears were created in 42 Sprague-Dawley rats and repaired at 6 weeks either with or without bRFE augmentation. There were 8 control (sham) rats. Treatment rats were euthanized at 4, 8, and 12 weeks after repair. All specimens underwent biomechanical and histologic evaluation. Compared with standard repair, bRFE-treated repairs showed a greater average maximum stress (8.475 N/m2 versus 3.95 N/m2) at 12 weeks, which was not significant (P < .11). The mode of failure was by humeral fracture in 57.14% > with bRFE versus 14.29% without bRFE. Histologically, both standard and bRFE-treated repairs were indistinguishable from controls at 12 weeks. The use of bRFE showed no definitive effect on delayed repair of acute rat rotator cuff tears.

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