How to Manage a Failed Rotator Cuff Repair

    Dr. Edward McFarland discusses the options orthopaedic surgeons have for treating a patient whose repaired rotator cuff tear has failed.

    When a repaired rotator cuff fails, it fails for one of the following reasons:

    • Biologic issues
    • Mechanical failure
    • Surgical error
    • Missed pathologies
    • Reinjury

    A patient with a failed rotator cuff repair presents a challenge to the orthopaedic surgeon. Should the failed repair be re-repaired? Is a reverse prosthesis a better choice? Or is there another surgical option that should be explored?

    The decision on how to proceed depends on the same variables that factored into the decision about the primary repair, says Edward G. McFarland, MD, from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, who spoke on this topic at ICJR’s annual Shoulder Course in Las Vegas. This includes the size of the tear, the original cause of the tear, and the patient’s age, among others.

    In an interview with ICJR, Dr. McFarland shares his thoughts on repairing failed rotator cuff repairs. Click the images below to hear his comments

    Approach to failed rotator cuff repairs

    Literature on failed rotator cuff repairs

    Producer: Susan Doan-Johnson; Director and Post Production: Charles Maynard