All-Arthroscopic Versus Mini-Open Rotator Cuff Repair: A Retrospective Review With Minimum 2-Year Follow-up

Nikhil N. Verma, Warren Dunn, Ronald S. Adler, Frank A. Cordasco, Answorth Allen, John MacGillivray, Edward Craig, Russell F. Warren, David W. Altchek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing all-arthroscopic versus mini-open rotator cuff repair. In addition, ultrasound was used to assess the integrity of the repair. Methods: A total of 38 patients who had undergone all-arthroscopic repair and 33 patients who had undergone mini-open repair with minimum 2-year follow-up were evaluated. All patients completed the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons' Scoring Survey (ASES), the Simple Shoulder Test, the L'Insalata Scoring Survey, and visual analog scales for pain. Physical examination, including strength testing and ultrasound evaluation to determine the integrity of the rotator cuff, was performed. Results: No statistical difference in ASES scores was noted between patients who had all-arthroscopic repair versus mini-open repair, and 24% of all-arthroscopic repairs and 27% of mini-open repairs showed recurrent defects on ultrasound at follow-up. This difference was not statistically significant. Patients with an original tear larger than 3 cm were 7 times more likely to have a recurrent defect at follow-up. Patients with persistent defects had statistically significant deficits in strength on forward elevation and external rotation when compared with those with a normal shoulder. However, no difference was observed with regard to pain or outcome scores between patients with intact repairs and those with persistent defects. Conclusions: No difference in clinical outcomes was found between patients with rotator cuffs repaired arthroscopically and those repaired with use of a mini-open technique. Level of Evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-594
Number of pages8
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Arthroscopic repair
  • Rotator cuff
  • Shoulder


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