Publication Date



JSES Internatoinal


BACKGROUND: The subacromial bursa has been found to be a rich, local, source of mesenchymal stem cells but is removed for visualization during rotator cuff repair. Reimplantation of this tissue may improve rotator cuff healing. The purpose of this study is to evaluate clinical outcomes of rotator cuff repair with and without subacromial bursa reimplantation.

METHODS: Patients aged 37-77 with a full-thickness or near full-thickness supraspinatus tears underwent arthroscopic transosseous-equivalent double row rotator cuff repair. In patients prior to July 2019, the subacromial bursa was resected for visualization, and discarded. In patients after July 2019, the subacromial bursa was collected using a filtration device connected to an arthroscopic shaver and reapplied to the bursal surface of the tendon at the completion of the rotator cuff repair. Rotator cuff integrity was evaluated via magnetic resonance imaging on bursa patients at 6 months postoperatively. Minimum 18-month clinical outcomes (Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, patient satisfaction) were compared between bursa and nonbursa cohorts.

RESULTS: A total of 136 patients were included in the study (control n = 110, bursa n = 26). Preoperative demographics and tear characteristics were not different between groups. Average follow-up was significantly longer in the control group (control: 3.2 ± 0.7 years; bursa: 1.8 ± 0.3 years;

CONCLUSION: Augmentation of rotator cuff repair with bursal tissue does not appear to have negative effects, and given the accessibility and ease of harvest of this tissue, further research should be performed to evaluate its potential for improved tendon healing or clinical outcomes.


Subacromial bursa, Rotator cuff repair, Biologic augmentation, Rotator cuff healing, Mesenchymal stem cell, Bursa reimplantation


PMID: 37719828

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Orthopedics Commons



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