Biomechanical evaluation of rotator cuff repairs in a sheep model: Suture anchors using arthroscopic Mason-Allen stitches compared with transosseous sutures using traditional modified Mason-Allen stitches

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Medical Center Göttingen, Georg-August University, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany.
Clinical Biomechanics (Impact Factor: 1.97). 03/2008; 23(3):291-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2007.10.010
Source: PubMed


The optimal method for rotator cuff repair of the shoulder is not yet known. The aim of this study was to compare the time-dependent biomechanical properties of the traditional open transosseous suture technique and modified Mason-Allen stitches (group 1) versus the double-loaded suture anchors technique and so-called arthroscopic Mason-Allen stitches (group 2) in rotator cuff repair.
Eighteen adult female sheep were randomized into two groups: in an open approach in which the released infraspinatus tendon was repaired with group 1, and with group 2. Animals were sacrificed at 6, 12, or 26 weeks; shoulders were harvested and magnetic resonance imaging was performed. Eight untreated contralateral shoulders served as controls. Tendons of 16 additional unpaired cadaver shoulder joints of adult female sheep were identically treated for analysis at time zero. In a biomechanical evaluation all specimens were loaded to failure at a constant displacement rate using a standard universal testing machine. The load-to-failure and stiffness of the healed bone-tendon interface were calculated.
Magnetic resonance imaging analysis showed cuff integrity in all cases, and no evidence of foreign body reaction to the anchors. Load-to-failure and stiffness data did not indicate any significant difference between the two treatment groups, neither at 6 weeks nor at 12 or 26 weeks. However, at time zero the group 2 had a higher load-to-failure in comparison to the group 1 (P<0.010), but there was no difference for the stiffness (P<0.121).
This in vivo study showed that, postoperatively, the group 2 technique provides superior stability and after healing would gain strength comparable to the group 1 technique.

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    • "For that reason, current studies have focused on improving the primary stability of rotator cuff repairs in order to amend tendon healing and minimize the rate of recurrent tears [1, 2, 8, 11, 13, 14, 19–23]. The most commonly used technique to date, the single-row technique, involves placing one row of suture anchors in the tendon insertion site on the humeral head. "
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    ABSTRACT: This experimental study aimed to compare the load-to-failure rate and stiffness of single- versus double-row suture techniques for repairing rotator cuff lesions using two different suture materials. Additionally, the mode of failure of each repair was evaluated. In 32 sheep shoulders, a standardized tear of the infraspinatus tendon was created. Then, n = 8 specimen were randomized to four repair methods: (1) Double-row Anchor Ethibond coupled with polyester sutures, USP No. 2; (2) Double-Row Anchor HiFi with polyblend polyethylene sutures, USP No. 2; (3) Single-Row Anchor Ethibond coupled with braided polyester sutures, USP No. 2; and (4) Single-Row Anchor HiFi with braided polyblend polyethylene sutures, USP No. 2. Arthroscopic Mason-Allen stitches were placed (single-row) and combined with medial horizontal mattress stitches (double-row). All specimens were loaded to failure at a constant displacement rate on a material testing machine. Group 4 showed lowest load-to-failure result with 155.7 +/- 31.1 N compared to group 1 (293.4 +/- 16.1 N) and group 2 (397.7 +/- 7.4 N) (P < 0.001). Stiffness was highest in group 2 (162 +/- 7.3 N/mm) and lowest in group 4 (84.4 +/- 19.9 mm) (P < 0.001). In group 4, the main cause of failure was due to the suture cutting through the tendon (n = 6), a failure case observed in only n = 1 specimen in group 2 (P < 0.001). A double-row technique combined with arthroscopic Mason-Allen/horizontal mattress stitches provides high initial failure strength and may minimize the risk of the polyethylene sutures cutting through the tendon in rotator cuff repair when a single load force is used.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
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    • "The usage of arthroscopic reconstructive procedures in shoulder surgery increasingly requires multiple implants. The arthroscopic scope [1, 2] derives its high level of primary stability [3, 4] and convenience from the use of suture anchors, as opposed to simple suture techniques. Over recent decades, metal anchors have been replaced by bioabsorbable anchors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Biodegradable implants lead to problems such as cyst formation, soft-tissue inflammation, loose implant fragments or local osteolysis. This report represents the first published case of an intraosseous foreign body granuloma in the humeral head after arthroscopic rotator cuff tear fixation with a poly-L: -lactide (PLLA) suture anchor. A 48-year-old female patient presented with pain in her right shoulder. A refixation of her right supraspinatus tendon with a biodegradable suture anchor was performed 11 months ago at an external hospital. Laboratory tests showed normal values for C-reactive protein, leukocytes and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. No signs of infection or instability were noted. The visual analogue scale (VAS) was 8, the simple shoulder test (SST) was 4 and the American shoulder and elbow surgeons score (ASES) was 44. Plain radiographs showed high lucency in the area of the tuberculum majus. MRI showed an intra- and extraosseous mass surrounded by fluid in this area. Surgical care involved arthroscopic debridement and removal of the suture anchor. Histological examination revealed a foreign body granuloma. At the 18-month follow-up the patient was nearly pain-free. The VAS was 2, SST was 10 and ASES was 88. Foreign body granulomas are a well known but rarely described complication that arises after the use of biodegradable suture anchors in shoulder surgery. Every patient presenting with shoulder pain after usage of a biodegradable fixation material should be evaluated closely. Orthopaedic surgeons should be aware of the possibility of delayed foreign body reactions, especially after using PLLA anchors.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
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    • "No pre-existing rotator cuff abnormalities were noted in all of the specimens. The infraspinatus tendon was sharply detached from its insertion site to mimic a full-thickness tear, as established in previous investigations at our institution [17, 18]. Right and left shoulders were randomly assigned among four treatment groups that were based on the use of absorbable suture anchors (Duet Suture Anchor®, ConMed Linvatec, Largo, FL, USA) coupled either with braided nonabsorbable polyester suture sized USP No. 2 (Ethibond®; Ethicon, Sommerville, NJ, USA) or with new high-performance polyblend polyethylene suture sized No. 2 (HiFi®; ConMed Linvatec, Largo, FL, USA). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to evaluate the time zero mechanical properties of single- versus double-row configuration for rotator cuff repair in an animal model with consideration of the stitch technique and suture material. Thirty-two fresh-frozen sheep shoulders were randomly assigned to four repair groups: suture anchor single-row repair coupled with (1) braided, nonabsorbable polyester suture sized USP No. 2 (SRAE) or (2) braided polyblend polyethylene suture sized No. 2 (SRAH). The double-row repair was coupled with (3) USP No. 2 (DRAE) or (4) braided polyblend polyethylene suture No. 2 (DRAH). Arthroscopic Mason-Allen stitches were used (single-row) and combined with medial horizontal mattress stitches (double-row). Shoulders were cyclically loaded from 10 to 180 N. Displacement to gap formation of 5- and 10-mm at the repair site, cycles to failure, and the mode of failure were determined. The ultimate tensile strength was verified in specimens that resisted to 3,000 cycles. DRAE and DRAH had a lower frequency of 5- (P = 0.135) and 10-mm gap formation (P = 0.135). All DRAE and DRAH resisted 3,000 cycles while only three SRAE and one SRAH resisted 3,000 cycles (P < 0.001). The ultimate tensile strength in double-row specimens was significantly higher than in others (P < 0.001). There was no significant variation in using different suture material (P > 0.05). Double-row suture anchor repair with arthroscopic Mason-Allen/medial mattress stitches provides initial strength superior to single-row repair with arthroscopic Mason-Allen stitches under isometric cyclic loading as well as under ultimate loading conditions. Our results support the concept of double-row fixation with arthroscopic Mason-Allen/medial mattress stitches in rotator cuff tears with improvement of initial fixation strength and ultimate tensile load. Use of new polyblend polyethylene suture material seems not to increase the initial biomechanical aspects of the repair construct.
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