Biomechanical effects of superior capsular reconstruction in a rotator cuff–deficient shoulder: a cadaveric study

Danil Rybalko, Aimee Bobko, Farid Amirouche, Dmitriy Peresada, Awais Hussain, Michael Patetta, Anshum Sood, Jason Koh, Benjamin Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Superior capsular reconstruction (SCR) has been gaining popularity as a treatment for irreparable rotator cuff tears (RCTs), especially in younger patients. This biomechanical study aimed to investigate how SCR affects functional abduction force, humeral head migration, and passive range of motion following an irreparable RCT. We hypothesized that SCR will restore these parameters to nearly intact shoulder levels. Methods: Six fresh-frozen cadaveric shoulders were evaluated using a custom biomechanical testing apparatus. Each shoulder was taken through 3 conditions: (1) intact (control); (2) irreparable, complete supraspinatus (SS) tear; and (3) SCR. Functional abduction force, superior humeral head migration, and passive range of motion, including axial shoulder rotation, were measured in static condition at 0°, 30°, and 60° of glenohumeral abduction. Data were analyzed using the paired Student t test or Wilcoxon signed rank test, depending on the results of normality testing. Results: The irreparable SS tear resulted in significantly lower functional abduction force at 30° of abduction (P = .01) and a trend toward a decrease (P = .17) at 60° compared with the intact configuration. SCR shoulders produced greater functional force at 0° compared with the tear configuration (P = .046). Humeral head migration was significantly increased by 4.4 and 3.0 mm at 0° and 30° of abduction, respectively, when comparing the intact vs. SS tear configurations (P = .001). SCR decreased superior migration down to levels of intact shoulders at 0° and 30° of abduction (P = .008 and P = .013, respectively) and was not significantly different from the intact configuration at any angle. SCR decreased passive shoulder extension compared with the tear configuration and increased abduction compared with the intact configuration (P = .007 and P = .03, respectively). The overall arc of axial rotation was not significantly different between SCR and the intact configuration at any angle. Conclusions: In the setting of an irreparable SS tear, SCR restores key biomechanical parameters of the shoulder to intact levels. SCR should be considered for qualifying patients with irreparable RCTs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1959-1966
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Volume29
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Basic Science Study
  • Biomechanics
  • Shoulder
  • rotator cuff repair
  • rotator cuff tear
  • shoulder biomechanics
  • superior capsular reconstruction
  • superior capsule
  • superior capsule reconstruction

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