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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. giuseppe.milano@rm.unicatt.it

Abstract

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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