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The Duke Orthopaedic Journal


Purpose: Massive rotator cuff tears (RCT) have been notoriously difficult to treat, but recently the novel use of interposition biologic scaffold grafts in repair of massive RCT has had promising results. However, there are no published guidelines regarding postoperative imaging evaluation of massive RCT repaired with xenograft. The purpose of this study was to (1) describe how to use ultrasound to evaluate a porcine acellular dermal matrix xenograft after repair of massive RCT and (2) evaluate healing of a xenograft using high-resolution ultrasound.

Materials and methods: A total of 37 consecutive patients underwent ultrasound evaluation of a repaired RCT at a mean of 33 months follow-up (23-48). Postoperative ultrasound findings were correlated to preoperative and postoperative functional (visual analog scale, Short-form 12, and Modified American shoulder and elbow score) and clinical outcomes (active range of motion and strength).

Results: Of the 37 patients, ultrasound showed that 33 (89.2%) of the cuff repairs were fully intact, 3 (8.1%) had partial thickness tears, and 1 (2.7%) had a full thickness tear. In this study, the integrity of the repair based on high-resolution ultrasound correlates with functional and clinical outcomes.

Conclusion: Ultrasound is an effective method to evaluate xenograft interposition grafts used in rotator cuff repair.

Keywords: Rotator cuff, Ultrasonography, Xenograft.

How to cite this article:Neumann JA, Rickert KD, Toth AP, Boggess BR. Ultrasonography Technique in the Evaluation of Massive Rotator Cuff Tears Repaired using a Porcine Acellular Dermal Matrix Xenograft through a Mini-open Approach. The Duke Orthop J 2016;6(1):26-34.

Source of support: Dr Blake Boggess received educational grants to teach ultrasound courses from GE, SonoSite, Bioventus, and Arthrex. Dr Alison Toth is a consultant and receives research support from Tornier. Drs Neumann and Rickert have no disclosures to report.

Conflict of interest: None

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