Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 138, Issue 8, pp 1135–1141 | Cite as

A novel remaining tendon preserving repair technique leads to improved outcomes in special rotator cuff tear patterns

  • Yoon Sang Jeon
  • Rag Gyu Kim
  • Sang-Jin Shin
Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine



The purpose of this study was to identify the tear pattern that could be anatomically repaired by preserving the remaining tendon on footprint and evaluate clinical outcomes of patients who underwent remaining tendon preserving cuff repair.

Materials and methods

Of 523 patients with full-thickness rotator cuff tears who underwent arthroscopic repair, 41 (7.8%) patients had repairable rotator cuff tear while preserving the remaining tendon. Among them, 31 patients were followed-up for more than 2 years, including 26 patients with posterior L-shaped tear and 5 patients with transtendinous tear patterns. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using ASES and Constant score, SANE score for patient satisfaction, and VAS for pain. MRI was taken for tendon integrity 6 months postoperatively.


Of the 31 patients, 11 (35.5%) had previous injury history before rotator cuff tear, including 7 (26.9%) of the 26 patients with posterior L-shaped tear and 4 (80%) of the 5 patients with transtendinous tear. The average size of preoperative cuff tear was 17.8 ± 6.8 mm in anterior-to-posterior direction and 15.2 ± 5.1 mm in medial-to-lateral direction. ASES and Constant score, SANE score, and VAS for pain were significantly (p < 0.001) improved after remaining tendon preserving rotator cuff repair. Rotator cuff tendons of 22(84.6%) patients with posterior L-shaped tear and 4(80%) patients with transtendinous tear patterns were healed.


Patients who underwent rotator cuff repair with preservation of the remaining tendon on the footprint obtained satisfactory functional outcomes. Rotator cuff tears in patients who had posterior L-shaped tear extending between supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons or transtendinous tear pattern with substantial remaining tendon could be repaired using remaining tendon preserving repair technique. Anatomic reduction of torn cuff tendon without undue tension could be achieved using the remaining tendon preserving repair technique.


Anatomic rotator cuff repair Remaining tendon preservation Posterior L-shape rotator cuff tear Transtendinous rotator cuff tear 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

The Institutional Review Board of Ewha Womans University approved this study (IRB no: EUMC 2016-12-038).

Conflict of interest

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korea government (NRF-2016R1D1A1A09919541).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, College of MedicineEwha Womans University Mokdong HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, College of MedicineInha University HospitalInchonRepublic of Korea

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