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Single-Row or Double-Row Fixation Technique for Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears: A Meta-Analysis
Published: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Author: Qiang Zhang et al.

by Qiang Zhang, Heng’an Ge, Jiaojiao Zhou, Chaoqun Yuan, Kai Chen, Biao Cheng


The single-row and double-row fixation techniques have been widely used for rotator cuff tears. However, whether the double-row technique produces superior clinical or anatomic outcomes is still considered controversial. This study aims to use meta-analysis to compare the clinical and anatomical outcomes between the two techniques.


The Pubmed, Embase, and Cochrane library databases were searched for relevant studies published before November 1, 2012. Studies clearly reporting a comparison of the single-row and double-row techniques were selected. The Constant, ASES, and UCLA scale systems and the rotator cuff integrity rate were evaluated. The weighted mean differences and relative risks were calculated using a fixed-effects or random-effects model.


Eight studies were included in this meta-analysis. The weighted mean differences of the ASES (-0.84; P?=?0.04; I2?=?0%) and UCLA (-0.75; P?=?0.007; I2?=?0%) scales were significantly low in the single-row group for full-thickness rotator cuff tears. For tear sizes smaller than 3 cm, no significant difference was found between the groups no matter in Constant (P?=?0.95; I2?=?0%), ASES (P?=?0.77; I2?=?0%), or UCLA (P?=?0.24; I2?=?13%) scales. For tear sizes larger than 3 cm, the ASES (-1.95; P?=?0.001; I2?=?49%) and UCLA (-1.17; P?=?0.006; I2?=?0%) scales were markedly lower in the single-row group. The integrity of the rotator cuff (0.81; P?=?0.0004; I2?=?10%) was greater and the partial thickness retear rate (1.93; P?=?0.007; I2?=?10%) was less in the double-row group. Full-thickness retears showed no difference between the groups (P?=?0.15; I2?=?0%).


The meta-analysis suggests that the double-row fixation technique increases post-operative rotator cuff integrity and improves the clinical outcomes, especially for full-thickness rotator cuff tears larger than 3 cm. For tear sizes smaller than 3 cm, there was no difference in the clinical outcomes between the two techniques.

Level of Evidence

Level I.