While arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR) has been recently introduced to treat irreparable rotator cuff tear with encouraging outcomes, graft options and fixation remain debated. The purpose of this article is to describe a novel technique and present preliminary results in using long head of biceps tendon (LHBT) as augmentation for SCR with fascia lata autograft.
Retrospective analysis was performed on 18 patients undergoing arthroscopic SCR with LHBT augmentation for irreparable rotator cuff tear between October 2017 and November 2019. Preoperative radiographic survey confirmed massive rotator cuff tear with moderate to severe muscle fatty infiltration and availability of LHBT. Fascia lata autograft harvested from ipsilateral thigh was folded and securely sutured. The folded fascia graft was then introduced through standard anterolateral portal and fixed to superior glenoid superiorly and greater tuberosity laterally with suture anchors. Anteriorly, fascia lata graft was sutured with proximal portion of LHBT instead of subscapularis tendon. A full coverage of rotator cuff defect by facial graft was then confirmed arthroscopically to allow tension-free suturing between posterior margin of fascia graft and residual infraspinatus tendon. Postoperative abduction brace and regular follow-up was arranged.
Being intact in 4 patients and either partially torn or subluxed in 14 patients, LHBT in all 18 patients were available for augmentation surgery. Preliminary functional survey revealed encouraging outcomes with a mean follow-up of 11.5 months. Nine patients with more one year follow-up regained full forward elevation; ASES improved from 24.3 to 90.2. Acromiohumeral distance improved from 3.3 mm to 8.6 mm with radiographic analysis in those 9 patients.
Arthroscopically LHBT augmented SCR is a novel technique and can be one of feasible opinions for irreparable rotator cuff tear.