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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2013 Jan;22(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2012.03.010. Epub 2012 May 29.

Arthroscopic repair of large rotator cuff tears using the double-row technique: an analysis of surgeon experience on efficiency and outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the orthopaedic specialty. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect(s) of surgical experience on efficiency and patient outcomes after double-row rotator cuff repair.


A retrospective review of 69 consecutive patients with large rotator cuff tears who underwent double-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair by 1 surgeon from the start of practice was conducted. We divided the patients into 2 cohorts: group 1, early (first 18 months of study period) (n = 35), and group 2, recent (final 12 months of study period) (n = 34). Outcome measures including American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, Penn Shoulder Score, and range of motion were assessed preoperatively and at final follow-up. In addition, we compared the operative times between the groups.


At a mean follow-up of 13.25 months, both cohorts showed significant improvement (P < .001) in American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons scores (from 47.9 to 76.5 and from 43.6 to 79.4 in groups 1 and 2, respectively) and Penn Shoulder Scores (from 45.8 to 80 and from 38.7 to 79.6 in groups 1 and 2, respectively) postoperatively. The magnitude of change and final scores were similar between the groups. Similar improvements in range of motion were noted in both groups. Patients in group 1 had a statistically significantly longer mean operative time than those in group 2 (116 minutes vs 99.7 minutes, P = .036).


Double-row rotator cuff repair provides predictable improvement in pain and function. It can be performed effectively early in a surgeon's career. However, with experience, efficiency is improved.

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