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Inflammatory infiltrate of the edges of a torn rotator cuff

By S. Gumina, G. Di Giorgio, A. Bertino, C. Della Rocca, B. Sardella and F. Postacchini


There is still considerable controversy as to whether or not the inflamed margins of a cuff tear should be excised during surgical suture. We have tried to discover whether anti-inflammatory drugs used before surgical treatment could resolve this issue. Thirty-eight patients were randomly either treated with an anti-inflammatory drug for 2 weeks or not. During the subsequent arthroscopic repair, a few fragments of supraspinatus edge were excised and examined microscopically. No significant differences emerged among samples belonging to the two groups. In all cases, we observed inflammatory infiltrate-lined tear edges. Fibrocytes and newly formed vessels were detected near the margin. Dystrophic calcifications were observed in both groups. Away from the edge, the tendon appeared hypocellular; containing areas with myxoid or fatty degeneration. Our study demonstrates that an anti-inflammatory drug is unable to resolve the inflammatory infiltrate. This failure is probably related to the poor blood supply to the cuff, which, in cases of rupture, is deprived of vessels coming from the humeral periosteum. Further studies are needed to understand how to eliminate the inflammatory process and clarify whether it might inhibit cuff healing and give rise to re-tearing of the sutured cuff

Topics: Original Paper
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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