Factors associated with degeneration of rotator cuff tendon : a histological study in patients with rotator cuff tear


Rotator cuff tear ; Rotator cuff repair ; Tendon degeneration ; healing ; retear

Published online: Dec 31 2019

Chris H. Jo , Yong Jun Lee , Young Gil Lee , Jae Min Lee , Ji Eun Kim

SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Factors associated with tendon degeneration have not been fully investigated. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with tendon degeneration in patients with rotator cuff tear. A total of 93 patients with a full-thickness rotator cuff tear (fRCT) were included in the study. A full-thickness supraspinatus tendon sample was harvested from the middle portion between the lateral edge and the musculotendinous junction, and assessed histologically. Association between the degree of tendon degeneration and factors in demographic, clinical, radiologic, and arthroscopic categories were investigated. The mean of the total degeneration score was significantly lower in patients with symptom duration of 6 months or less than longer than 6 months (13.1 ± 2.6 vs 14.4 ± 2.3, p = 0.010). This study showed that tendon degeneration significantly progressed 6 months after the onset of symptoms, and suggested early intervention to avoid further deterioration of tendon degeneration.