Arthroscopic reduction and fixation for displaced greater tuberosity fractures using the modified suture-bridge technique

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the early clinical outcomes of arthroscopic treatment of avulsion or comminuted fractures of the greater tuberosity (GT) using a modified suture-bridge technique.


Between February 2013 and November 2015, 14 patients with displaced or comminuted fractures of GT were arthroscopically treated using a modified suturebridge technique. Displacement of the GT fragments was > 3 mm in any plane. An analysis of follow-up results including the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) shoulder scale; the shoulder index of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES); the simple shoulder test (SST); and shoulder range of motion (ROM), is presented.


Mean duration of follow up is 18.9 months (range, 6–30). Mean age of patients was 62.9 years (range, 49–74). Postoperatively, the outcomes were rated as excellent, good and fair in two, 11 and one patient, respectively based on the UCLA score. At the most recent follow-up, the average UCLA score increased to 32 points, the ASES score increased to 97.5 points, and the SST score increased to 11 points. Average forward flexion was 153.6°, average abduction was 158.6°, average external rotation in the neutral position was 38.6°, and internal rotation increased to the 12th thoracic vertebral level.


Early follow-up outcomes of the arthroscopic modified suture-bridge technique used for avulsion or comminuted GT fractures are promising. The technique can be used as one of the therapeutic modalities for GT fractures.

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Correspondence to Ming Cai or Kun Tao.

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Li, R., Cai, M. & Tao, K. Arthroscopic reduction and fixation for displaced greater tuberosity fractures using the modified suture-bridge technique. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 41, 1257–1263 (2017) doi:10.1007/s00264-017-3461-y

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  • Avulsion or comminuted GT fractures
  • Arthroscopic modified suture-bridge technique