Rotator cuff tears can be repaired by an open approach, mini-open, or all-arthroscopically. Numerous rotator cuff repair techniques have been reported. The most commonly used techniques are single-row (SR) and double-row (DR) repairs. However, controversy exists about superiority of either one strategy.
DR constructs offered superior results in a biomechanical point of view, including increased mechanical strength, decreased gap formation, increased footprint coverage, and water tight isolation of the healing zone avoiding synovial fluid interaction. Thus, favorable biomechanical reconstruction can be achieved, improving the healing process and allowing for a more aggressive postoperative shoulder mobilization. In contrast, it is postulated that SR constructs lead to less interaction with the regional blood supply at the healing zone supporting the biologic healing process. Additionally, the implant costs are lower in SR reconstruction techniques.
On a clinical point of view, the results comparing outcomes after SRversus DR repair have been inconsistent. Whereas some studies report significantly superior results after DR repair with respect to subjective, objective, and radiographic outcomes, several studies have found no differences between both techniques.
There are several meta-analyses available as well as a recent systematic review dealing with this entity. The purpose of this study was to sum up the results of meta-analyses comparing SR and DR repair with respect on clinical outcomes and re-tear rates.