Summary of Meta-Analyses Dealing with Single-Row versus Double-Row Repair Techniques for Rotator Cuff Tears

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 21 July 2016 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874325001610010330



Several meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials have been performed to analyze whether double-row (DR) rotator cuff repair (RCR) provides superior clinical outcomes and structural healing compared to single-row (SR) repair. The purpose of this study was to sum up the results of meta-analysis comparing SR and DR repair with respect on clinical outcomes and re-tear rates.


A literature search was undertaken to identify all meta-analyses dealing with randomized controlled trials comparing clinical und structural outcomes after SR versus DR RCR.


Eight meta-analyses met the eligibility criteria: two including Level I studies only, five including both Level I and Level II studies, and one including additional Level III studies. Four meta-analyses found no differences between SR and DR RCR for patient outcomes, whereas four favored DR RCR for tears greater than 3 cm. Two meta-analyses found no structural healing differences between SR and DR RCR, whereas six found DR repair to be superior for tears greater than 3 cm tears.


No clinical differences are seen between single-row and double-row repair for small and medium rotator cuff tears after a short-term follow-up period with a higher re-tear rate following single-row repairs. There seems to be a trend to superior results with double-row repair in large to massive tear sizes.

Keywords: Double-row repair, large tear size, meta-analysis, rotator cuff tear, single-row repair, small tear size, structural healing.
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