Three-dimensional evaluation of cyclic displacement in single-row and double-row rotator cuff reconstructions under static external rotation

Olaf Lorbach*, Matthias Kieb, Florian Raber, Liider C. Busch, Dieter M. Kohn, Dietrich Pape

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The double-row suture bridge repair was recently introduced and has demonstrated superior biomechanical results and higher yield load compared with the traditional double-row technique. It therefore seemed reasonable to compare this second generation of double-row constructs to the modified single-row double mattress reconstruction. Hypothesis: The repair technique, initial tear size, and tendon subregion will have a significant effect on 3-dimensional (3D) cyclic displacement under additional static external rotation of a modified single-row compared with a double-row rotator cuff repair. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: Rotator cuff tears (small to medium:25 mm; medium to large:35 mm) were created in 24 human cadaveric shoulders. Rotator cuff repairs were performed as modified single-row or double-row repairs, and cyclic loading (10-60 N, 10-100 N) was applied under 20° of external rotation. Radiostereometric analysis was used to calculate cyclic displacement in the anteroposterior (x), craniocaudal (y), and mediolateral (z) planes with a focus on the repair constructs and the initial tear size. Moreover, differences in cyclic displacement of the anterior compared with the posterior tendon subregions were calculated. Results: Significantly lower cyclic displacement was seen in small to medium tears for the single-row compared with double-row repair at 60 and 100 N in the x plane (P =.001) and y plane (P =.001). The results were similar in medium to large tears at 100 N in the x plane (P =.004). Comparison of 25-mm versus 35-mm tears did not show any statistically significant differences for the single-row repairs. In the double-row repairs, lower gap formation was found for the 35-mm tears (P ≤.05). Comparison of the anterior versus posterior tendon subregions revealed a trend toward higher anterior gap formation, although this was statistically not significant. Conclusion: The tested single-row reconstruction achieved superior results in 3D cyclic displacement to the tested double-row repair. Extension of the initial rupture size did not have a negative effect on the biomechanical results of the tested constructs. Clinical Relevance: Single-row repairs with modified suture configurations provide comparable biomechanical strength to doublerow repairs. Furthermore, as increased gap formation in the early postoperative period might lead to failure of the construct, a strong anterior fixation and restricted external rotation protocol might be considered in rotator cuff repairs to avoid this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-dimensional
  • Biomechanical
  • Double row
  • Rotator cuff
  • Single row


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