Transtendon arthroscopic repair of high grade partial-thickness articular surface tears of the rotator cuff with biceps tendon augmentation: technical note and preliminary results

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Partial articular surface of the rotator cuff tendon tears has been recognized as a source of treatable shoulder pain and a precursory pathology for full-thickness tendon tears. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a possible surgical method of treatment. Recent data have shown that the treating partial-thickness rotator cuff repairs with transtendon technique shows good clinical outcome. The use of this technique enables the reconstitution of the tendon with complete reconstruction of its footprint without damaging its intact bursal part. In cases of high grade partial articular-sided degenerative rotator cuff tears (involving >50% of the tendon) in older patients, there is a possibility of poor healing or re-tear of the rotator cuff repair, which may be associated with poor tendon quality and substantial thinning of the rotator cuff, subsequently revision surgery in these patients will be demanding.


To mitigate these problems, we describe here a new arthroscopic transtendon repair technique with tenotomized long head biceps tendon augmentation for high grade partial articular rotator cuff tear with the goal of providing increase tendon healing, as well as to minimize the probability of failure of the construct and to improve the clinical outcomes.


The clinical results of the first 39 consecutive patients are reported showing significant decrease in pain and improved shoulder scores, as well as the post-operative range of motion and with no cases of re-tear of the rotator cuff tendon.

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Correspondence to Mohamed Shafi.

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Ji, J., Shafi, M., Jeong, J. et al. Transtendon arthroscopic repair of high grade partial-thickness articular surface tears of the rotator cuff with biceps tendon augmentation: technical note and preliminary results. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 132, 335–342 (2012) doi:10.1007/s00402-011-1373-7

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  • Partial articular
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Arthroscopic
  • Transtendon repair
  • Biceps tendon
  • Augmentation