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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2008 Jan;16(1):75-80. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

Comparison between single-row and double-row rotator cuff repair: a biomechanical study.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Catholic University, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy.


The aim of this study was to compare the mechanical behavior under cyclic loading test of single-row and double-row rotator cuff repair with suture anchors in an ex-vivo animal model. For the present study, 50 fresh porcine shoulders were used. On each shoulder, a crescent-shaped full-thickness tear of the infraspinatus was performed. Width of the tendon tear was 2 cm. The lesion was repaired using metal suture anchors. Shoulders were divided in four groups, according the type of repair: single-row tension-free repair (Group 1); single-row tension repair (Group 2); double-row tension-free repair (Group 3); double-row tension repair (Group 4); and a control group. Specimens were subjected to a cyclic loading test. Number of cycles at 5 mm of elongation and at failure, and total elongation were calculated. Single-row tension repair showed significantly poorest results for all the variables considered, when compared with the other groups. Regarding the mean number of cycles at 5 mm of elongation and at failure, there was a nonsignificant difference between Groups 3 and 4, and both of them were significantly greater than Group 1. For mean total elongation, the difference between Groups 1, 3, and 4 was not significant, but all of them were significantly lower than the control group. A single-row repair is particularly weak when performed under tension. Double-row repair is significantly more resistant to cyclic displacement than single-row repair in both tension-free and tension repair. Double-row repair technique can be primarily considered for large, unstable rotator cuff tears to improve mechanical strength of primary fixation of tendons to bone.

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