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Indian J Orthop. 2015 Mar-Apr;49(2):164-70. doi: 10.4103/0019-5413.152452.

Magnetic resonance appearance of bioabsorbable anchor screws for double row arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, School of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shoulder and Elbow Clinic, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.



Little is known about the bioabsorbable, anchor related postoperative changes in rotator cuff surgery, which has become more popular recently. The purpose of the present study was to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to analyze the degradation of bioabsorbable anchors and to determine the incidences and characteristics of early postoperative reactions around the anchors and their mechanical failures.


Postoperative MRIs of 200 patients who underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff repair were retrospectively analyzed. The tissue reactions around the bioanchors included fluid accumulations around the anchor, granulation tissue formation and changes in the condition of the surrounding osseous structure. The condition of the bioanchor itself was also examined, including whether the bioanchor failed mechanically. In the case of mechanical failure, the location of the failure was noted. Serial MRIs of 18 patients were available for analysis.


The total number of medial row bioanchors was 124, while that of the lateral row was 338. A low signal intensity rim suggestive of sclerosis surrounded all lateral row bioanchors. Ninety three lateral row bioanchors (27%) showed a rim with signal intensity similar to or less than that of surrounding bone, which was granulation tissue or foreign body reaction (FBR). Similar signal intensity was seen around nine medial row bioanchors (7%). Fluid accumulation was seen around 4 lateral row bioanchors (1%) and around 14 medial row bioanchors (11%). Five lateral row bioanchors showed the breakage, while there was none in the medial row bioanchors. There were nine cases with a cuff re-tear (4.5%). There was no evidence of affection of glenohumeral articular surfaces or of osteolysis around any bioanchor. In serial MRI, there was no change in appearance of the bioanchors, but the granulation tissue or FBR around four bioanchors and the fluid around one bioanchor showed a decrease in successive MRI.


This study highlights the normal and adverse reactions to Bioabsorbable anchors that surgeons can expect to see on MRI after rotator cuff repairs.


Anchor screws; Rotator cuff; Shoulder; arthroscopy; bioabsorbable screws; bone screws; magnetic resonance imaging; rotator cuff repair

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