Purpose: To provide an overview of the existing literature on subacromial balloon spacers for the treatment of massive irreparable rotator cuff tears, in an effort to inform surgeons of the procedure's clinical effectiveness. Methods: The PubMed, Scopus, and Ovid EMBASE databases were queried to identify studies evaluating the clinical, radiographic, and patient-reported outcomes of patients indicated for subacromial balloon spacer implantation. The following datapoints were extracted: study demographics, patient baseline characteristics, and postoperative outcomes of interest. Outcomes were evaluated at baseline and at the longest available follow-up period. Results: A total 766 patients were included among 22 included studies, with an average follow-up of 27.54 months. Improvements were seen for all clinical and patient-reported outcomes: forward elevation (ranging from 9.20 to 90.00° improvement), external rotation (ranging from 2.00 to 22.00°), abduction (ranging from 14.00 to 95.00°), Total Constant Score (ranging from 7.70 to 50.00), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (ranging from 24.60 to 59.84), Oxford Shoulder Score (ranging from 7.20 to 22.20), and pain score (ranging from 3.57 to 6.50). Minimal differences were seen in acromiohumeral interval (ranging from –2.00 to 1.27). Reoperation and complication rates ranged from 0% to 33% and 0% to 19.64%, respectively. Conclusions: The short-term results of subacromial balloon spacers for management of massive rotator cuff tears demonstrate clinically relevant improvements in shoulder range of motion and substantial improvements in patient-reported outcome measures. Of note, minimal change in acromiohumeral interval was seen on postoperative radiography, and wide variations in complication and reoperation rates were reported across studies. Level of Evidence: Level IV, systematic review of Level I-IV studies.
|Journal||Arthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2023|