Twelve cadaveric shoulders were used to determine the effects of release of the superior capsule and the coracohumeral ligament on the strain in the repaired rotator cuff tendon. A rotator cuff tear (2 cm wide and 1.5 cm long) was created and repaired under a 3-kg tensile force. The strain in the repaired tendon was measured with use of linear transducers with the arm in 50 different positions. Release of either the superior capsule or the coracohumeral ligament diminished the tension of the repaired rotator cuff by an average of 25% with the arm in adduction. Release of both of these structures further reduced the tension by an average of 44% in adduction and 43% to 60% with the arm in 15° of elevation. The maximum reduction of tension in the repaired rotator cuff occurred when both the superior capsule and coracohumeral ligament were divided and when the arm was positioned in adduction and in 60° of external rotation. Release of the coracohumeral ligament is equally as efficient as releasing the superior capsule in reducing the strain of the repaired rotator cuff. Releasing both structures seems to be desirable when releasing one structure or the other is not sufficient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation