Comparison of a novel bone-tendon allograft with a human dermisderived patch for repair of chronic large rotator cuff tears using a canine model

Matthew J. Smith*, James L. Cook, Keiichi Kuroki, Prakash S. Jayabalan, Cristi R. Cook, Ferris M. Pfeiffer, Nicole P. Waters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study tested a bone-tendon allograft versus human dermis patch for reconstructing chronic rotator cuff repair by use of a canine model. Methods: Mature research dogs (N = 15) were used. Radiopaque wire was placed in the infraspinatus tendon (IST) before its transection. Three weeks later, radiographs showed IST retraction. Each dog then underwent 1 IST treatment: debridement (D), direct repair of IST to bone with a suture bridge and human dermis patch augmentation (GJ), or bone-tendon allograft (BT) reconstruction. Outcome measures included lameness grading, radiographs, and ultrasonographic assessment. Dogs were killed 6 months after surgery and both shoulders assessed biomechanically and histologically. Results: BT dogs were significantly (P =.01) less lame than the other groups. BT dogs had superior bone-tendon, tendon, and tendon-muscle integrity compared with D and GJ dogs. Biomechanical testing showed that the D group had significantly (P =.05) more elongation than the other groups whereas BT had stiffness and elongation characteristics that most closely matched normal controls. Radiographically, D and GJ dogs showed significantly more retraction than BT dogs (P =.003 and P =.045, respectively) Histologically, GJ dogs had lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates, tendon degeneration and hypocellularity, and poor tendon-bone integration. BT dogs showed complete incorporation of allograft bone into host bone, normal bone-tendon junctions, and well-integrated allograft tendon. Conclusions: The bone-tendon allograft technique re-establishes a functional IST bone-tendon-muscle unit and maintains integrity of repair in this model. Clinical Relevance: Clinical trials using this bone-tendon allograft technique are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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