Treatment of Massive Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tear with Arthroscopic Subacromial Bursectomy, Biceps Tenotomy, and Tuberoplasty



1 University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Knee and Sport Medicine Research Center, Milad hospital, Tehran, Iran

2 Knee and Sport Medicine Research Center, Milad hospital, Tehran, Iran

3 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Knee and Sport Medicine Research Center, Tehran, Iran


Background: The alternative surgery for massive and irreparable shoulder rotator cuff tears in older patients is the
debridement of subacromial bursa, biceps tenotomy, and tuberoplasty (reverse acromioplasty). This study aimed to
report the effectiveness of such a treatment performed arthroscopically in a small group of patients for a short period
of time.
Methods: This prospective study was conducted on 12 patients with massive irreparable rotator cuff tear during 2014-
2017. Participants with the mean age of 65 were subjected to arthroscopic debridement of subacromial bursa, necrotic
rotator cuff tendon remnants, and tuberoplasty without coracoacromial ligament excision. The sign and symptoms of
patients before and after the surgery were evaluated based on Modified-University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
Shoulder Score.
Results: With the mean follow-up of 18 months (12-24 months), the mean of the modified UCLA score improved from
9.2 to 27.5. The obtained results of the study revealed that the pain and range of motion improved to near normal in the
participants. The functional outcome was good although there were a decrease of acromiohumeral distance from 5 to
4 mm and a slight increase in degenerative changes.
Conclusion: This simple arthroscopic procedure is recommended for massive irreparable rotator cuff tear, especially
in elderly patients.
Level of evidence: IV


Main Subjects