Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arthroscopy. 2012 Feb;28(2):160-8. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2011.08.286. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

The clinical results of arthroscopic transtendinous repair of grade III partial articular-sided supraspinatus tendon tears.

Author information

Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic, Atlanta, Georgia 30309, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical results of arthroscopic transtendinous repair of deep partial articular-sided rotator cuff tears.


We retrospectively evaluated the results of 53 patients who underwent arthroscopic transtendinous repair for Ellman grade III articular-sided rotator cuff tears (>50% of the thickness of the rotator cuff). The intact bursal side of the cuff was not detached, and all associated pathology was treated. Fifty patients available for follow-up were evaluated with the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) questionnaire.


American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons scores improved from a mean of 48.0 to 89.4 (+41.4) (P < .0001). Pain scores on a visual analog scale improved from 5.7 to 1.0 (P < .0001). Ninety-eight percent of patients were satisfied with the results of surgery. Results for the 50 patients available for follow-up were excellent in 32 (64%), good in 6 (12%), fair in 6 (12%), and poor in 6 (12%). Articular-sided rotator cuff tears rarely occurred in isolation but were typically found in association with coexisting pathology suggestive of the tears' etiology. Most common were impingement lesions, seen in 94% of patients, and instability lesions such as labral tears, seen in 30% of patients. Associated procedures included acromioplasty in 47, distal clavicle resection in 29, treatment of biceps pathology in 7, and instability repair in 15. One patient sustained a postoperative pulmonary embolism, which represented the only complication. Tears varied in size from 50% to 90% of the thickness of the cuff insertion. Significant differences were identified in the results of Workers' Compensation patients. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance arthrography were accurate in identifying a partial-thickness rotator cuff tear in less than 40% of cases.


Arthroscopic transtendinous repair of partial articular-sided rotator cuff tears is a safe and effective treatment that allows identification of commonly associated pathology and reliable improvement in pain and function.


Level IV, therapeutic case series.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center