Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 173–180 | Cite as

Sources, Quality, and Reported Outcomes of Superior Capsular Reconstruction: a Systematic Review

  • Seper Ekhtiari
  • Anthony F Adili
  • Muzammil Memon
  • Timothy Leroux
  • Patrick Henry
  • Asheesh Bedi
  • Moin KhanEmail author
Outcomes Research in Orthopedics (O Ayeni, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Outcomes Research in Orthopedics



Superior capsular reconstruction (SCR) has gained attention as a potential treatment option for those with massive irreparable rotator cuff tears without significant arthritis. The aim of this systematic review is to review and evaluate the current sources and quality of SCR literature as well as reported outcomes.


Three databases (PubMed, Ovid [MEDLINE], and EMBASE) were searched independently and in duplicate to systematically screen the literature. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) checklist guided the reporting and data abstraction. The results are presented in a narrative summary fashion using descriptive statistics.


Overall, 58 studies were identified, including 304 different patients. There was a rapid increase in the number of publications observed over the past 3 years, with the most dramatic single-year increase noted from 2017 to 2018 (175% increase). There are no level 1 studies, and 95% of the included studies were level 4 and 5 evidence. Comparing pre-operative to post-operative pooled-weighted mean outcome scores, the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score improved from 44.2 to 84.8, the Visual Analogue Scale from 5.0 to 1.5, and acromiohumeral distance from 6.5 to 8.4 mm, respectively. Range of motion in forward elevation also improved from 111° to 152°. Among studies reporting, the complication rate was 13.4% with a revision surgery rate of 4.3%.


Over the past 3 years there has been considerable growth in the number of publications of publications related to SCR. Despite a lack of high-quality clinical evidence, preliminary available evidence does suggest promising results both functionally and radiographically. There is a need for future higher-quality research such as large randomized controlled trials to improve our current understanding of the benefits of SCR.


Superior capsular reconstruction Shoulder capsule Massive rotator cuff tear Superior capsule repair 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Seper Ekhtiari, Anthony Adili, Muzammil Memon, Tim Leroux, Patrick Henry, and Moin Khan each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Asheesh Bedi is a consultant and received personal fees from Arthrex.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 15 kb)
12178_2019_9551_MOESM2_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seper Ekhtiari
    • 1
  • Anthony F Adili
    • 2
  • Muzammil Memon
    • 1
  • Timothy Leroux
    • 3
  • Patrick Henry
    • 3
  • Asheesh Bedi
    • 4
  • Moin Khan
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Division of OrthopedicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Division of Orthopaedic SurgeryMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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