Symposium: Current Concepts in Rotator Cuff Disease and Treatment 11 articles
Degenerative rotator cuff tears are increasing with the aging population, and healing is not uniform after surgery. Rotator cuffs may show improved healing when biologic factors are added during surgery.
Treatment of partial-thickness articular surface rotator cuff tears varies from simple débridement with or without an acromioplasty to various repair techniques. These repair techniques have included in situ transtendinous methods, as well as completion of the tear and repairing the full-thickness defect. The transtendinous techniques can be associated with stiffness and completing the tear takes down normal intact tissue. Therefore, a technique was developed that repairs the articular-side partial- thickness rotator cuff tears with an all-inside approach that does not violate the intact bursal tissue and does not complete the tear.
In some patients nonoperative treatment of a rotator cuff tear is sufficient, while in others it is only the first stage of treatment prior to surgery. Fatty infiltration progresses throughout the nonoperative treatment although it is not known at what point fatty infiltration contributes to poor functional outcomes, absence of healing, or increased rerupture rates.
Chronic rotator cuff tears are often associated with pain or poor function. In a rat with only a detached supraspinatus tendon, the tendon heals spontaneously which is inconsistent with how tears are believed to heal in humans.
Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) was introduced to treat rotator cuff tear arthropathy but is now used to treat a variety of problems. Although its use has expanded substantially since the FDA’s approval in 2004, the appropriateness in patients with rotator cuff disease is unclear.
The isokinetic muscle performance test (IMPT) is a validated and objective method used to evaluate muscle function but it is unknown whether it correlates with severity of rotator cuff tears.
The causes of rotator cuff tendon rupture are multifactorial and still unclear. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors have been implicated as predisposing risk factors for rotator cuff rupture. Previous studies have suggested a relationship between elevated serum lipid profiles and tendon ruptures, although not rotator cuff tears specifically.
It is unclear whether repaired rotator cuffs heal in older patients and whether the function in those shoulders compares with those of similarly aged patients with untreated tears.