Background: Partial-thickness tear of the subscapularis tendon in the articular surface is common. Hypothesis: Intra-articular repair of a partial articular-surface tear of the subscapularis tendon will provide a successful outcome. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A total of 29 shoulders with an isolated partial articular-surface tear of the subscapularis tendon without another rotator cuff lesion were treated with arthroscopic intra-articular repair using suture anchors. Biceps tenodesis was performed in 16 patients. Outcomes were prospectively evaluated at a mean of 27 months (range, 19-41 months) using 3 objective (University of California at Los Angeles, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Shoulder Index, Simple Shoulder Test) and 2 subjective (pain and function visual analog scales) measurements. Results: There were 21 men and 8 women, with a mean age of 54 years (range, 41-65 years). Tear widths were small (<1 cm) in 16 shoulders and large (>1 cm) in 13 shoulders. Twenty-six shoulders had articular cartilage erosion on the adjacent humeral head. Lesions of the biceps tendon were noted in 25 patients (partial tear in 15 shoulders; subluxation in 13 shoulders). Shoulder pain scores improved after surgery (5.0 ± 2.7 to 0.3 ± 0.7, P < .05). According to American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Shoulder Index scores, 18 were excellent; 10, good; and 1, fair. Internal rotation strength deficit improved from 32% to 4%. Twenty-six patients returned to more than 90% of previous activity. There were no surgical complications; tear size and biceps tenodesis did not affect outcome (P > .05). Conclusion: Arthroscopic intra-articular repair of a partial articular-surface tear of the subscapularis tendon is an effective procedure that spares the intact tendon attachment in the bursal surface. Short-term outcomes were reliable by both objective and subjective measurements.
- Articular surface
- Belly press
- Partial tear
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation