International Orthopaedics

, Volume 42, Issue 11, pp 2633–2638 | Cite as

Irreparable rotator cuff tears: long-term follow-up, five to ten years, of arthroscopic debridement and tenotomy of the long head of the biceps

  • Pieter PanderEmail author
  • Inger N. Sierevelt
  • Guy A.B.M. Pecasse
  • Arthur van Noort
Original Paper



Rotator cuff tears (RCT) are a common source of pain and disability of the shoulder and are frequently combined with pathology of the long head of the biceps tendon (LHBT). The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term results (5–10 years) of arthroscopic debridement of the rotator cuff with or without tenotomy of the LHBT in patients with irreparable rotator cuff tears.


Patient files between January 2005 and December 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Suitable patients were contacted and invited to the outpatient clinic for assessment of their shoulder function by the constant score and were asked to fill out questionnaires, comprising the Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS), the SF-12, change in pain and function and satisfaction rate.


The outcome measures of 39 patients with a mean age of 75.6 (SD 6.6) years were evaluated at a mean follow-up time of 6.5 (SD 1.5) years. All patients had filled out the questionnaires and 23 patients (59%) visited the outpatient clinic. The median corrected constant score for age and gender was 90 (P25-P75: 73–94). Twenty-six patients (67%) were satisfied with the result. No significant differences in outcome measures were found between patients treated solely with debridement and patients treated with debridement combined with tenotomy of the LHBT.


Both arthroscopic debridement and debridement combined with a bicepstenotomy yields high satisfactory shoulder function in elderly patients at long term.


Shoulder Rotator cuff tear Arthroscopy Tenotomy 



All work presented was carried out by the four listed authors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Spaarne Hospital Academy, Spaarne HospitalHoofddorpThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Zaans Medical CentreZaandamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Spaarne HospitalHoofddorpThe Netherlands

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