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Arthroscopy. 2003 Mar;19(3):234-8.

All-arthroscopic versus mini-open rotator cuff repair: A long-term retrospective outcome comparison.

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Private Practice, Laguna Hills, California, USA.



The goal of the study was to compare the results of all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair with those of our mini-open rotator cuff repair.


Retrospective outcome study.


Sixty-four shoulders (58 patients) were identified; 35 in the all-arthroscopic group and 29 in the mini-open group. Average follow-up for all patients was 44.6 months, with a minimum of 24 months. The all-arthroscopic group included 3 small tears (< 1 cm), 24 medium-size tears (1 to 3 cm), and 9 large tears (3 to 5 cm). The mini-open group included 2 small tears, 9 medium tears, and 18 large tears. All patients in both groups underwent arthroscopic assessment with arthroscopic subacromial decompression. None underwent formal acromioclavicular joint resection. Four of the all-arthroscopic and 11 of the mini-open patients underwent coplaning of the acromioclavicular joint. Anchors were the primary method of arthroscopic fixation, with an average of 1.5 anchors per case.


The average final follow-up UCLA score for the arthroscopic group was 32.6 and for the mini-open group was 31.4, and the average final follow-up ASES score for the arthroscopic group was 91.7 and for the mini-open group was 90.0. No patients in the arthroscopic group developed fibrous ankylosis, whereas 4 patients in the mini-open group developed the condition (14%). No anchor-related complications were noted. Shoulders in the all-arthroscopic group showed greater motion at 6 and 12 weeks postoperatively and slightly better motion at final review. However, final motion difference was not statistically significant. Overall, 4 patients (6.3%) demonstrated some tenderness in the acromioclavicular joint on palpation, but none had clinical symptoms requiring treatment.


All-arthroscopic cuff repair provides comparable outcomes and complication rates to arthroscopic decompression with mini-open repair. The lower incidence of fibrous ankylosis favors the all-arthroscopic technique. A trend for better early motion was also noted in the all-arthroscopic group. Analysis of variance shows no measurable outcome difference between tear sizes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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