Biomechanical Evaluation of the Efficacy of Suture Tape Augmentation for Subscapularis Peel Repair

Orthop J Sports Med. 2023 Apr 6;11(4):23259671231162361. doi: 10.1177/23259671231162361. eCollection 2023 Apr.


BACKGROUND: Failure of a subscapularis repair construct after anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty can result in difficulty with internal rotation and an increased likelihood of dislocation. Although suture tape has been demonstrated to be an efficacious augment for tendonous repairs elsewhere in the body, it has not been investigated as a method for augmenting subscapularis peel repairs.

PURPOSE: To determine the biomechanical efficacy of suture tape augmentation for the repair of a subscapularis peel.

STUDY DESIGN: Controlled laboratory study.

METHODS: Twelve human cadaveric shoulders underwent a subscapularis peel. Specimens were randomly split into 2 groups: 6 specimens underwent repair using a transosseous bone tunnel technique with 3 high-strength sutures placed with a Mason-Allen configuration (control group), and 6 specimens underwent the control repair using augmentation with 2 suture tapes placed in an inverted mattress fashion and secured to the proximal humerus using a suture anchor (augmentation group). Shoulders underwent biomechanical testing to compare repair displacement with cyclic loading, load at ultimate failure, and construct stiffness.

RESULTS: There were no significant between-group differences in displacement after cyclic loading at the superior (P = .87), middle (P = .47), or inferior (P = .77) portions of the subscapularis tendon. Load to failure was significantly greater in the augmentation group (585.1 ± 97.4 N) than in the control group (358.5 ± 81.8 N) (P = .001). Stiffness was also greater in the augmentation group (71.8 ± 13.7 N/mm) when compared with the control group (48.7 ± 5.7 N/mm) (P = .003).

CONCLUSION: Subscapularis peel repair with augmentation via 2 inverted mattress suture tapes secured with an anchor in the proximal humerus conferred significantly greater load at ultimate failure and construct stiffness when compared with a traditional repair using 3 Mason-Allen sutures. There was no difference in repair displacement with cyclic loading between the repair groups.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Suture tape augmentation of subscapularis peel repairs after shoulder arthroplasty provides an effective segment to the strength of the repair.

PMID:37056453 | PMC:PMC10087657 | DOI:10.1177/23259671231162361


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