Authors: Ruder JA, Dickinson EY, Peindl RD, Habet NA, Fleischli JE.
To evaluate the effect of greater tuberosity decortication on ultimate load to failure and displacement after cyclic loading with an all-suture anchor.
A 2.9-mm all-suture anchor was evaluated in decorticated and nondecorticated greater tuberosities of 10 matched pairs of human cadaveric shoulders. Greater tuberosity decortication was performed to a mean depth of 1.7 mm. Anchors were placed in the anterior, middle, and posterior tuberosity. Anchors were tested under cyclic loads followed by load-to-failure testing. Displacement after 20, 100, and 200 cycles and ultimate failure strength were determined. Clinical failure was defined as displacement greater than 5 mm during cyclic loading.
After 20 and 100 cycles, there was no difference in mean displacement between the decorticated and nondecorticated cohorts (P = .139 and P = .127, respectively). The mean displacement after 200 cycles was greater in the decorticated cohort, although not significantly (3.4 vs 2.7 mm; P = .05). The mean ultimate load to failure was significantly lower in the decorticated cohort (314 vs 386 N, P = .049). There were 2 clinical failures in the decorticated specimens and 1 in the nondecorticated specimens.
A minimal greater tuberosity decortication significantly decreases the ultimate load to failure of an all-suture anchor. However, decreased biomechanical strength may not necessitate actual clinical failure.
A decrease in ultimate load to failure could increase the risk of catastrophic postoperative anchor failure. However, while this decrease in strength is statistically significant, the overall decrease in strength may not be sufficient in magnitude to translate to clinical failure.
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