Arthroscopic Debridement for Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tears

N. Hawi*, U. Schmiddem, M. Omar, T. Stuebig, C. Krettek, M. Petri, R. Meller
Trauma Department, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

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© Hawi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Trauma Department of the Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany; E-mails:



Arthroscopic debridement represents a salvage procedure for irreparable rotator cuff tears. It is important to accurately diagnose the patient for irreparable rotator cuff tears. The diagnosis and the therapeutic options must be explained to the patient. It is mandatory that the patient understands the primary goal of the arthroscopic debridement being reduction of pain, not improving strength or function.


The procedure consists of 7 distinct steps to debride the soft tissues and alleviate pain.


Even though there is a lack of evidence that this procedure is superior to other therapeutic options, it has shown good results in patients with the main complaint of pain.


The results reported in some studies should, however, be interpreted with caution, taking into consideration the substantial structural damage in irreparable defects.

Keywords: Arthroscopy, Debridement, Degenerative rotator cuff tear, Irreparable rotator cuff tear, Massive rotator cuff tear, Rotator cuff, Salvage procedure.