Introduction: The purpose of this study was to introduce a novel arthroscopic transtendon anatomic repair technique that spares the intact bursal-sided tendon in articular-sided partial-thickness rotator cuff tears (PTRCT) and to present shoulder functional outcomes in patients with symptomatic articular-sided PCRCT that involves more than 50 % of its thickness after arthroscopic repair using a novel technique. Materials and methods: Eighteen patients with symptomatic articular-sided PCRCT involving more than 50 % of the tendon’s thickness underwent arthroscopic repair using a devised technique. The devised technique restores only the torn articular portion of the rotator cuff at the anatomical footprint using a suture anchor, and preserves the integrity of the corresponding bursal-sided tendon by tying knots at the most lateral bursal side on the subacromial space. Clinical and functional outcome using ASES and Constant scores were evaluated. The structural integrity of the rotator cuff was evaluated by MRI at 6 months postoperatively. Results: Pain relief and shoulder functional outcomes were encouraging during the recovery phase after operation. ASES (preoperative 54.0 ± 10.3 to postoperative 92.6 ± 8.0), Constant score (61.2 ± 8.5–88.0 ± 5.3), VAS for pain (4.9 ± 2.6–0.6 ± 0.7) improved significantly after arthroscopic transtendon anatomic repair (p < 0.001). No patients had rotator cuff retears on 6-month MRI. No complications related to surgical procedures had occurred. Conclusion: The devised technique of arthroscopic transtendon repair provided satisfactory functional outcomes without postoperative discomforts. This technique minimizes over-tightening of the articular layer and reduces tension mismatches between the articular and bursal layers, which are considered as important factors for improvement of postoperative shoulder motion.
- Arthroscopic transtendon anatomic repair technique
- Partial-thickness rotator cuff tears