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Arthroscopy. 2018 Jan;34(1):93-99. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2017.08.265. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Preliminary Results of Arthroscopic Superior Capsule Reconstruction with Dermal Allograft.

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Southern Oregon Orthopedics, Medford, Oregon, U.S.A.. Electronic address:
Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Naples Community Hospital and Arthrex, Naples, Florida, U.S.A.
Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.A.
San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the short-term outcomes of arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR) with dermal allograft for the treatment of irreparable massive rotator cuff tears (MRCTs).


A multicenter study was performed on patients undergoing arthroscopic SCR for irreparable MRCTs. The minimum follow-up was 1 year. Range of motion and functional outcome according to visual analog scale (VAS) pain, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, and subjective shoulder value (SSV) score were assessed preoperatively and at final follow-up. Radiographs were used to evaluate the acromiohumeral interval (AHI).


Fifty-nine patients with a mean age of 62.0 years had a minimum follow-up of 1 year. Twenty-five patients (42.4%) had a prior rotator cuff repair. Forward flexion improved from 130° preoperative to 158° postoperative, and external rotation improved from 36° to 45°, respectively (P < .001). Compared with preoperative values, the VAS decreased from 5.8 to 1.7, the ASES score improved from 43.6 to 77.5, and the SSV score improved from 35.0 to 76.3 (P < .001). The AHI was 6.6 mm at baseline and improved to 7.6 mm at 2 weeks postoperatively but decreased to 6.7 mm at final follow-up. Based on postoperative magnetic resonance imaging, 45% (9 of 20) of the grafts demonstrated complete healing. Forty-six (74.6%) cases were considered a success. Eleven patients (18.6%) underwent a revision procedure including 7 reverse shoulder arthroplasties.


Arthroscopic SCR using dermal allograft provides a successful outcome in approximately 70% of cases in an initial experience. The preliminary results are encouraging in this difficult to manage patient population, but precise indications are important and graft healing is low in our initial experience.


Level IV, case series.

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