November 2011; 19 Patrick J. Denard, Abstract
Rotator cuff repair leads to good and excellent outcomes in most patients. However, structural failure of the repair occurs in a substantial number of cases and can lead to an unsatisfactory result. Several factors have been implicated, including patient-related factors (eg, patient age, tear size) and extrinsic factors (eg, surgeon surgical volume, biomechanical failure). Structural failure requires a detailed patient evaluation to elucidate the cause of persistent symptoms. Function can be maintained despite a recurrent tear; therefore, a recurrent tear alone is not an indication for revision repair. The major indication for revision rotator cuff repair is the persistence of clinical symptoms, despite nonsurgical management, in the absence of substantial risk factors for failure. Although the outcome is poorer than after primary repair, satisfactory results have been reported following revision repair of recurrent rotator cuff tears, particularly with arthroscopic techniques.