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Irreparable rotator cuff tears: challenges and solutions

Authors Novi M, Kumar A, Paladini P, Porcellini G, Merolla G

Received 4 July 2018

Accepted for publication 8 November 2018

Published 5 December 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 93—103

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/ORR.S151259

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Clark Hung


Michele Novi,1 Avinash Kumar,2 Paolo Paladini,3 Giuseppe Porcellini,4 Giovanni Merolla3,5

1Orthopaedic and Trauma Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; 2Department of Orthopaedics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, India; 3Shoulder and Elbow Unit, “D. Cervesi” Hospital, AUSL della Romagna, Ambito Territoriale di Rimini, Rimini, Italy; 4Orthopaedic and Trauma Unit, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Policlinico di Modena, Modena, Italy; 5“Marco Simoncelli” Biomechanics Laboratory, “D. Cervesi” Hospital, AUSL della Romagna, Ambito Territoriale di Rimini, Rimini, Italy

Abstract: Irreparable rotator cuff tears are common conditions seen by shoulder surgeons, characterized by a torn and retracted tendon associated with muscle atrophy and impaired mobility. Direct fixation of the torn tendon is not possible due to the retracted tendon and lack of healing potential which result in poor outcome. Several treatment options are viable but correct indication is mandatory for a good result, pain improvement, and restoration of shoulder function. Patient can be treated either with a conservative program or surgically when necessary, by different available modalities like arthroscopic debridement, partial reconstruction, subacromial spacer, tendon transfer, and shoulder replacement with reverse prosthesis. The aim of this study was to review literature to give an overview of the available possible solutions, with indications and expected outcomes.

Keywords: irreparable rotator cuff tear, arthroscopy, partial repair, tendon transfer, graft augmentation

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