Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

Isolated bioinductive repair of partial-thickness rotator cuff tears using a resorbable bovine collagen implant: two-year radiologic and clinical outcomes from a prospective multicenter study

Published:November 18, 2020DOI:


      Current surgical treatment options for partial-thickness tears (eg, takedown and repair, in situ repair) are limited by the degenerative nature of the underlying tendon and may require extensive intervention that can alter the anatomic footprint. The complexity of available techniques to address these issues led to the development of a resorbable collagen implant, which can be used to create a bioinductive repair of partial-thickness tears.


      We prospectively enrolled 33 patients with chronic, degenerative, intermediate-grade (n = 12), or high-grade (n = 21) partial-thickness tears (11 articular, 10 bursal, 4 intrasubstance, and 8 hybrid) of the supraspinatus tendon in a multicenter study. After arthroscopic subacromial decompression without a traditional rotator cuff repair, a bioinductive implant was secured over the bursal surface of the tendon. Clinical outcomes were assessed using American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) and Constant-Murley scores (CMS) preoperatively and at 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years postoperatively. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed to assess postoperative tendon healing and thickness at the original tear site.


      At 2-year follow-up, mean ASES and CMS scores improved both clinically and statistically at 1 and 2 years, compared with baseline, for intermediate- and high-grade tears. There was magnetic resonance imaging evidence of new tissue fill-in within the original baseline tear in 100% of the intermediate-grade tears and 95% of the high-grade tears. In 90.9% of the intermediate-grade tears and 84.2% of the high-grade tears, this new tissue fill-in represented at least an additional 50% of the volume of the initial lesion. From baseline to 2-year follow-up, the mean tendon thickness increased by 1.2 mm (standard deviation, 1.3; P = .012) and 1.8 mm (standard deviation, 2.2; P = .003) in the intermediate- and high-grade tears, respectively. The analysis of tear grade and location revealed no statistically significant difference in the change in mean tendon thickness at any time point. One patient with a high-grade articular lesion demonstrated progression to a full-thickness tear; however, the patient was noncompliant and the injury occurred while shoveling snow 1 month after surgery. Neither tear location nor treatment of bicep pathology affected the ASES or CMS scores at any follow-up point. No serious adverse events related to the implant were reported.


      Final results from this 2-year prospective study indicate that the use of this resorbable bovine collagen implant for isolated bioinductive repair of intermediate- and high-grade partial-thickness rotator cuff tears of the supraspinatus is safe and effective, regardless of tear grade and location.

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