The postsurgical rotator cuff: surgical techniques, clinical outcome, and MRI evaluation

Authors: JM Melladoa,b, J Calmetc

a Sección de Radiología. Hospital Reina Sofía. Tudela. Navarra. España.
b Instituto de Diagnóstico por la Imagen. Hospital Universitario de Tarragona Juan XXIII. Tarragona. España.
c Servicio de Cirugía Ortopédica y Traumatología. Hospital Universitario de Tarragona Juan XXIII. Tarragona. España.

Surgical treatment of rotator cuff tears significantly reduces painful symptoms and improves functional capacity in many patients.

However, despite recent advances, up to 25% of patients remain symptomatic after surgery. This has led to research into the reasons for these poor outcomes, including how to identify them with imaging methods and how to avoid them through new therapeutic approaches. Based on our clinical experience, we review the available treatment alternatives for rotator cuff tears, analyzing the main areas of controversy and the possible causes of unsatisfactory outcome after surgery. Furthermore, we review the expectations, difficulties, and requirements of diagnostic imaging in the follow- up of surgically treated rotator cuffs, with special emphasis on the MRI findings and their clinical impact.